If Steve Bannon watched the speech, he would have probably cried.
President Donald Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the premier confab of the global elite, was highly anticipated in the political press. Here was an American president who had railed against free trade and immigration speaking to the world’s most fervent believers in globalization. How could there be anything but fireworks?
Well, the speech happened on Friday morning. And … there were no fireworks. It felt like the closest thing Trump had ever given to a conciliatory speech: an attempt to try to kiss up to the global elite rather than telling them to kiss off.
Much of the speech was Trump taking (dubious) credit for strong economic performance in the United States in the past year or so. Another large chunk was discussing his cuts to regulation and taxes, something the crowd at Davos could definitely get behind.
But when he got to the points of contention between him and the audience — his America First approach to globalization and foreign policy — he sounded remarkably subdued. Instead of attacking “the false song of globalism,” as he had on the campaign trail, he sold himself as a kind of moderate globalist.
“We are all stronger when free, sovereign nations cooperate towards shared goals and they cooperate toward shared dreams,” Trump said, praising “the international trade system” for producing “broadly shared prosperity” around the globe.
His criticism of free trade was cast not in the crude terms he’s used in the past — “we can’t continue to allow China to rape our country” — but as a sort of tinkering at the edges designed to make free trade work for everyone. “We support free trade,” he said, “but it needs to be fair and it needs to Read More Here