President Trump to Davos: ‘America Is Open for Business’

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President Trump to Davos: ‘America Is Open for Business’

Founded by Klaus Schwab in 1971, the World Economic Forum’s original mission was to introduce successful American management techniques to European firms. The annual global gathering—now known to most simply as “Davos”—has grown into a four-day conference that hosts about 3,000 of the world’s elite in business, government, and civil society.

President Donald J. Trump’s address on January 26, 2018, marked only the second time a sitting U.S. president has attended the event in person. Ronald Reagan addressed Davos multiple years via video, and Bill Clinton has become a regular attendee after first visiting the conference in 2000. Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have never attended.

President Trump had one important reason for becoming the first sitting U.S. commander-in-chief to attend Davos in nearly 20 years. He wanted to deliver world leaders a message: A prosperous America benefits the world, and fair economic competition is essential to that prosperity.

He also made his pitch for investing in the American economy. “There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States,” he said. “America is open for business and we are competitive once again.”

Specifically, the President explained how his “America First” vision fit into Davos’ 2018 theme of “creating a shared future in a fractured world”:

  • America is committed to global growth and prosperity. As the world’s largest economy, the United States has a particular responsibility to get things right domestically: When the U.S. economy grows, so does the world’s.
  • The Trump Administration supports free and open trade—but it must be fair and reciprocal trade, too. The global economy cannot flourish unless all countries follow the rules and are held responsible when they don’t.
  • Leaders must reform—not abandon—the international economic system. America’s goal is to improve that system by making it more accountable and efficient, which will make the global economy work for all sovereign nations.

Davos also gave President Trump an opportunity to forge closer ties with U.S. allies and build global support for American businesses. Among the high-profile attendees for 2018 were French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

The American delegation was led by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Six other members of President Trump’s Cabinet joined him, including the U.S. Trade Representative.

“The President’s message is very much the same here as it will be [in Davos],” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said ahead of President Trump’s visit. “He welcomes the opportunity to go there and advance his America First agenda with world leaders.”

World Economic Forum Congress Centre
Davos, Switzerland

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I just want to thank everybody. The receptivity that we’ve had and the United States has had being here has been incredible. Sitting around this table are some of the greatest business leaders in the world, some of the greatest companies in the world. Probably, I can think of no other place or time where you’ll have executives of this stature.

And I thought what I’d do is, first of all, I want to thank the professor for having done a fantastic job. Klaus, thank you very much. You have really done outstandingly. And putting this together at this level over many years has been a great tribute to you and your entire group and your entire family. So thank you very much. It’s an honor to be here representing the United States.

MR. SCHWAB: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: I just want to say that there’s been a lot of warmth, a lot of respect for our country. And a lot of money — billions and billions of dollars — is coming into the U.S. And people are very happy with what we’ve done, not only on the tax bill, but also cutting of regulations, and I think also being a cheerleader for our country. You know, if you’re not a cheerleader for your company or for your country, no matter what happens, it’s not going to work. And that’s what I’ve been and that’s what my whole group has been.

So perhaps I’ll start on my left and you can go around. And here’s one of the very big, powerful businesspeople of the world. And just say a few words about your company and whatever you’d like to do. Go ahead.

MR. KAESER: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for inviting me today. Obviously, I work for Siemens. We’ve got 56,000 people working in the United States; $34 billion revenues. (Inaudible.) So, congratulations on your tax reform. You said this is what you’re going to do. (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT: We said it. And, by the way, when he says he works for Siemens, he’s the president of Siemens, but that’s okay. (Laughter.) It’s a good way of saying it. But go ahead.

MR. KAESER: But don’t you work for your country?

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, we work for our country. That’s right. (Laughter.) Same thing. And Siemens is doing good?

MR. KAESER: We’re doing really well. As a matter of fact, we’ve been investing quite a lot into the country. And since you have been successful with tax reform, we decided to develop next-generation gas turbines in the United States.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, that’s a big thing. That’s very big. That’s fantastic.

MR. KAESER: It is.

THE PRESIDENT: Where will that be developed?

MR. KAESER: Charlotte.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, Charlotte is great. That’s fantastic. Well, thank you. On behalf of Charlotte, thank you very much — and our country.

MR. KAESER: Our pleasure. Thank you.

MR. RENJEN: Mr. President, thank you for having me. Punit Renjen from Deloitte. On behalf of 265,000 employees across the globe, 70,000 in the U.S., thank you again for having us.

THE PRESIDENT: Great company. Thank you very much. Great job.

MR. RENJEN: Thank you.

MR. SCHNEIDER: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. Mark Schneider, CEO of Nestle. Nestle was co-founded — this is something that few people know — by American brothers who moved to Switzerland after the Civil War. Today, we employ 50,000 people in the United States. We operate 77 plants. Almost everything we sell is locally made. We offer 10 R&D centers, and we’re excited about what’s going in the U.S. market.

THE PRESIDENT: And people think of Nestle for candy, but I read the other day that’s actually only 3 percent of your company. So what is your primary product now?

MR. SCHNEIDER: Coffee, infant nutrition, water, pet food. Those are the (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Fantastic job you’ve done. Thank you very much.

Professor.

MR. SCHWAB: Yes. Well, (inaudible) fully engaged also in the United States. But what you probably do not know, one of (inaudible) staff is working in the (inaudible) — 800 people. But tiny compared to you. But one of the staff is working in New York and in our Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s very good. Has this been a very successful one, right here, now?

MR. SCHWAB: Yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: Has it all gone very well? Because it seems to really be going smoothly. A lot of really good relationships.

MR. SCHWAB: Yeah. And even more what I mentioned before, Mr. President — the World Economic Forum is a very business-driven approach to global cooperation. And I think many of the issues can be much faster and much more efficient if business is involved. So that’s what we are doing — creating coalitions between governments, business, and, to a certain extent, also the young generation, to make sure that we really have a pragmatic approach in global governance.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we’re honored to be here and be with you. Thank you for this.

MR. SURI: Good evening, Mr. President. I’m Rajeev Suri from Nokia. We’re the leading networks — telecom networks company in the world, number two. We have 15,000 people in the U.S., and it’s one of our strongest R&D setups in the world, spread throughout the U.S. We have half of the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. We own Nokia Bell Labs, which is in New Jersey. We do a lot of stuff in the West Coast, in Chicago, and throughout the country, really. So just under half of our people do research and development, and the rest are doing services and 4G networks and 5G. So I’m very happy and pleased with your infrastructure focus, and (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

MR. LUNDSTEDT: So, thank you, Mr. President, for inviting all of us. My name is Martian Lundstedt; I’m the president of the Volvo group.

THE PRESIDENT: Volvo.

MR. LUNDSTEDT: Yeah. And among other things, we are the proud owners of Mack trucks.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right. Which are 100 percent made in the U.S.

MR. LUNDSTEDT: Absolutely. And Volvo trucks (inaudible) North America is 100 percent made in the United States, as well as our construction equipment in Pennsylvania; as a matter of fact, in Allentown and Shippensburg and in Middletown, and New River Valley in Virginia. So we are primarily focused on the East Coast. We are just now running the biggest investment program in our company’s history, in the United States, for R&D

THE PRESIDENT: How much with you will be investing?

MR. LUNDSTEDT: For the time being, just north of 2 billion U.S. dollars into — in that specific program. But we have a big (inaudible) — very, very good (inaudible) infrastructure and transportation.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s great. Absolutely. Well, we’re going to be doing a lot of that. I asked the question before, when I heard Volvo, and I know they own Mack truck — I said, what’s the difference in price between a Mack and a Volvo comparable truck? And you said —

MR. LUNDSTEDT: I said, (inaudible) very strong (inaudible). (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: He said they’re both great, but a Mack is about 15 percent more. (Laughter.) That was very good. Thank you very much for that investment in the U.S. $2 billion is great. Thank you very much.

MR. RORSTED: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. I represent the Adidas team.

THE PRESIDENT: Adidas, good.

MR. RORSTED: America is our single biggest country, and we (inaudible) 30 percent in the U.S. And some of the most famous creators of our products are coming out of the U.S., starting with Stan Smith in the seventies; Kanye West, probably one of the most (inaudible) shoes in the world. And we just opened a fully automated shoe and (inaudible) plant in the state of Georgia and Atlanta.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. Great job.

MR. BAUMANN: Hello, I’m Werner Baumann, and I’m the CEO of Bayer. That’s a company that, in the future, it will be known as the company that is formally the aspirin company. So we are working heavily on (inaudible), national icon in the U.S., making good progress. And hope to close this transaction in early 2018, so it should be a minute.

THE PRESIDENT: So what percentage of your company is the aspirin?

MR. BAUMANN: Aspirin is a 1.1 billion euro, so $1.4 billion.

THE PRESIDENT: So that’s a pretty small percentage.

MR. BAUMANN: It’s relatively small, but it’s one of the few brands that has been growing for 120 years. It’s very profitable. And I think you take it as well. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I do. I take one a day. (Laughter.) I generally — I should say, I only take Bayer. (Laughter.) One aspirin a day. So far, it’s been working. But it’s a great company. So are you going to be investing in the U.S.?

MR. BAUMANN: Yes, we are. We will actually consolidate most of our activities also into (inaudible) headquarters in St. Louis. We’re going to invest about $16 billion, if you look at —

THE PRESIDENT: $16 billion, wow.

MR. BAUMANN: (Inaudible) R&D investment in crop alone. And 60 percent out of that is going to be in the U.S. over the next six years.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. That’s really great. Thank you.

MR. TUCKER: My name is Mark Tucker from HSBC. HSBC, you know well.

THE PRESIDENT: I do.

MR. TUCKER: Our business in the U.S. began in 1865. And we’re the largest foreign bank in the U.S. We had a business — we have a balance sheet of $2.6 trillion.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s right.

MR. TUCKER: We work in 70 countries, and we have a market capital of around $250 billion. The commitment to the U.S. — we have a very strong business here, and a business that will continue to grow.

THE PRESIDENT: And you founded one of the most successful businesses in China. That is a big statement. You did a great job. So it’s a great honor to have you. Thank you very much. It’s a fantastic job you’ve done. I know all about you. I know everything about you. (Laughter.) Thank you.

MR. TUCKER: That’s dangerous, Mr. President. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I know. You people have done what you’ve done. Congratulations.

MR. POUYANNE: I’m Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of Total, which is an oil and gas company, the fourth largest in the world. Out of 50 countries, we are in the U.S. — 7,000 people. We do almost everything in your country. We produce oil, we explore. We are just making a big discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, oil discovery. We produce gas in Texas. We are investing in an energy plant in Louisiana to export gas from the U.S.

What else — we are just deciding to invest $3 billion in petrochemicals in Texas. A big (inaudible), a big plant, creating 1,500 jobs. We have 7,000 people in your country and in 23 states.

THE PRESIDENT: So you’re fourth in the world.

MR. POUYANNE: Yeah, we are fourth largest in the world, and third by reserves — more than 10 billion barrel reserves. (Inaudible) we invest around $15 billion each year, and at least $1 billion as an average in the U.S. And, of course, for us — U.S. (inaudible) gas revolution, (inaudible) revolution. (Inaudible) — lost-cost energy, lost-cost (inaudible). So we come, and even we will do more with your tax reform.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a great company.

MR. POUYANNE: And we are also invested in renewables. Maybe you disagree, but in solar business, in a U.S. company. We are (inaudible) solar power, California company, high-tech company. And so we are heavily invested in — we’ve invested more than $2 billion in that company to develop solar in the U.S.

THE PRESIDENT: And we’ll rebuild that business. That whole thing is going to get rebuilt now, the solar panels. And you’ll see a big difference. But that’s very good. So from the U.S. standpoint, you’re very happy about it?

MR. POUYANNE: Yes, I’m happy. To be honest, for some (inaudible), there is competition with (inaudible).

THE PRESIDENT: You have competition?

MR. POUYANNE: Yes. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s what we wanted. (Laughter.) No, but you’ve done a great job. Thank you.

MR. POUYANNE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Appreciate it.

MR. HIESINGER: Mr. President, thank you for the invitation. Heinrich Hiesinger, CEO of Thyssenkrupp. We are strongly localized in the U.S. in elevator engineer automotive. Eighty percent is already localized. Very proud that we have all the elevators in the Freedom Tower —

THE PRESIDENT: Wow.

MR. HIESINGER: — which is, for our people, our big pride. They worked six years on that one. And our other thing is, we have 3,000 apprenticeships for young people each and every year.

THE PRESIDENT: So, Otis compared to the size of what you do, where are you —

MR. HIESINGER: We are quite similar in size.

THE PRESIDENT: It’s a great company.

MR. HIESINGER: We are heading to one to one, because years ago we have acquired Dover, and this made us quite stronger.

THE PRESIDENT: Great. That’s good. Great product. I’ve used your product, as you know. Great product. Thank you very much.

MR. SAETRE: So, thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for the invitation. It’s an honor. My name is Eldar Saetre. I’m the CEO of Statoil — (inaudible) oil and gas coming from Norway — Norwegian, Norway. We’ve been present in the U.S. for 30 years now. Substantial investment over the years. So we’re engaged both in the onshore, the offshore, trading, extensive trading business, and also renewables. Primarily in solar, but offshore wind, actually.

So quite sizeable business, not as big as Total yet, but we’re working on it. So we are growing and increasing our production in three areas onshore; increasing to eight fields offshore; 300,000-plus barrels a day. (Inaudible) around 400,000. So it’s our second biggest location outside of the Norwegian (inaudible). So we are growing in terms of production, and obviously also in terms of investment.

So I would like to congratulate you on the tax reform. I think that is really good news, I guess, for all of us here, but also for the oil and gas, and our industry.

THE PRESIDENT: Good news for a lot of people.

MR. SAETRE: Oil and gas is also a heavily regulated business. So your thinking and your actions on what you’re doing on regulations is good news.

THE PRESIDENT: We’re opening it up, and we’re becoming energy self-sufficient very rapidly. We really, just about are hitting that mark.

And as you know, we’re opening up a lot of different places in the U.S., including the plants that you’re building. A lot of places are opening that would never even have — they wouldn’t have even conceived of them. So a lot of things are happening.

Thank you. Great job you’ve done. Thank you very much.

MR. NARASIMHAN: Mr. President, thank you very much for the honor of being here. I’m the CEO of Novartis. We’re one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. We focus on innovative medicines, generics, as well as eye care.

Today, we have about 22,000 employees in the U.S. across 21 sites. We invest about $14 billion every year into the United States, including $3.5 billion in research. It’s one of our key, obviously, markets, but also key places where we drive innovation. And we’re really pleased with the tax reform, but also very pleased with the great progress being made at FDA. We believe you have a great leadership team there and they’re doing all the right things to accelerate innovation.

THE PRESIDENT: Scott is great, and Alex is great. You know, Alex is just starting, and he’s highly respected. So that’s fantastic. Scott Gottlieb, as you know, is a star.

MR. NARASIMHAN: He is a star. And I think his vision for tobacco and trying to improve — reduce the use of tobacco around the world is also very inspiring.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s very good. Thank you very much.

MR. SPIESSHOFER: Mr. President, thank you very much for having me tonight. I serve the people of ABB. We have business in more than 100 countries of the world, but we have made, the last eight years, the U.S. an investment focus. We have deployed $13 billion of capital, and bought some iconic brands in the U.S., like Baldor in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a motor company. And we are just now in the process of closing the transaction to acquire GE Industrial Solutions, a fantastic business, in terms of install base. It needs a little bit of investment, in terms of technology and —

THE PRESIDENT: Did you get a good price? Did you get a good price?

MR. SPIESSHOFER: I got a good price, yeah.

THE PRESIDENT: I know you got a — you always get a good price. (Laughter.) I know who I deal with. He always gets a good price. That’s good.

MR. SPIESSHOFER: Altogether — so we have today now, including the (inaudible) have 26,000 people in the U.S., in more than 60 sites, nicely spread over all the U.S. We have the classic copper and iron activities, the motors. And just last week, we (inaudible) the entire executive committee team time in Silicon Valley, because there we have an AI and robotics center that we firmly intend to grow further and invest significantly to support the U.S. in the next level of industrialization.

THE PRESIDENT: One year write-off. Big difference, right?

MR. SPIESSHOFER: Yes.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s probably the biggest sleeper in the whole tax bill.

MR. SPIESSHOFER: Absolutely.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Great job. Good luck with the GE purchase. Well done.

MR. SPIESSHOFER: Thank you. We need that.

THE PRESIDENT: Sounds good. You’ll be just fine. (Laughter.) Go ahead.

MR. BRITO: Mr. President, thank you very much for the invitation. I’m the CEO of Anheuser-Busch InBev, a beer company.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Anheuser-Busch.

MR. BRITO: We have (inaudible) more than 50 countries around the world. We sell beer in more than 100 countries. Our number one local beer brand is Budweiser, out of St. Louis.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. We know it well.

MR. BRITO: We started there in 1852, and we’ve been in the beer business for more than 600 years. Our Belgian business dates back to 1366, our Belgian company. And our biggest market is the U.S., where we employ 18,000 people in more than 50 sites. And we’ve just announced last year a program through 2020 to build our investment and our facilities in the U.S.

THE PRESIDENT: That’s fantastic. That’s good. Thank you very much. That’s fantastic. Thank you very much.

MR. BRITO: Thank you, sir.

MR. MCDERMOTT: Hey, Mr. President. I’d like to thank you, first of all, for having me, but also for spurring on all this growth because these are all my customers.

THE PRESIDENT: I know. (Laughter.)

MR. MCDERMOTT: I mean, it’s kind of amazing to have all your customers talking about adding jobs and growing their business. And it’s just a real tribute to the momentum that you’ve created in a global economy. So I thank you very much.

SAP is the leading enterprise sulfur company. We have 90,000 people around the world. In the United States, we’re quickly approaching 25,000. It’s the fastest-growing region in the world, especially in jobs.

I’m very proud to share with you that, when you think about the Army and the Navy, and the missions they run to protect the world, they run on SAP.

And when you think about the Vice President, in the state of Indiana, for example, solving infant mortality issues and things like that, we were working hand-in-glove with him there as well.

So it’s a real honor, and thank you for having me. And we look forward to helping in any way we can.

THE PRESIDENT: And you have done a really spectacular job. I guess pretty much everybody at this table is your customer, so that’s not so bad.

MR. MCDERMOTT: Exactly. Exactly.

THE PRESIDENT: I want to congratulate you —

MR. MCDERMOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank everybody. Really, you have done incredible work, incredible jobs. These are some of the great companies of the world, many of the great companies of the world. And congratulations.

And now we’ll talk. And thank you very much. Appreciate it. Thank you very much.

END

World Economic Forum Congress Centre
Davos, Switzerland

2:02 P.M. CET

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you, Klaus, very much.  It’s a privilege to be here at this forum where leaders in business, science, art, diplomacy, and world affairs have gathered for many, many years to discuss how we can advance prosperity, security, and peace.

I’m here today to represent the interests of the American people and to affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world.

Like all nations represented at this great forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty, and fear.

Over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the U.S.  We’re lifting up forgotten communities, creating exciting new opportunities, and helping every American find their path to the American Dream — the dream of a great job, a safe home, and a better life for their children.

After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth.  The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election.  Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have been in many decades.

Since my election, we’ve created 2.4 million jobs, and that number is going up very, very substantially.  Small-business optimism is at an all-time high.  New unemployment claims are near the lowest we’ve seen in almost half a century.  African American unemployment has reached the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States, and so has unemployment among Hispanic Americans.

The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America.  I’m here to deliver a simple message:  There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the United States.  America is open for business, and we are competitive once again.

The American economy is by far the largest in the world, and we’ve just enacted the most significant tax cuts and reform in American history.  We’ve massively cut taxes for the middle class and small businesses to let working families keep more of their hard-earned money.  We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35 percent, all the way down to 21 percent.  As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as $3,000.

The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American’s household income by more than $4,000.  The world’s largest company, Apple, announced plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America.  Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.

Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States.  This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived.  Regulation is stealth taxation.  The U.S., like many other countries, unelected bureaucrats — and we have — believe me, we have them all over the place — and they’ve imposed crushing and anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability.

In America, those days are over.  I pledged to eliminate two unnecessary regulations for every one new regulation.  We have succeeded beyond our highest expectations.  Instead of 2 for 1, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for every 1 new rule.  We are freeing our businesses and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before.  We are creating an environment that attracts capital, invites investment, and rewards production.

America is the place to do business.  So come to America, where you can innovate, create, and build.  I believe in America.  As President of the United States, I will always put America first, just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also.

But America first does not mean America alone.  When the United States grows, so does the world.  American prosperity has created countless jobs all around the globe, and the drive for excellence, creativity, and innovation in the U.S. has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and far healthier lives.

As the United States pursues domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly shared prosperity and rewards to those who play by the rules.

We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.  We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal.  Because, in the end, unfair trade undermines us all.

The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices, including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning.  These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers, not just in the U.S., but around the globe.

Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as President of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers.

We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to our trading system.  Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the U.S. but for all nations.

As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries.  This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important.  We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all.

My administration is also taking swift action in other ways to restore American confidence and independence.  We are lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide affordable power to our citizens and businesses, and to promote energy security for our friends all around the world.  No country should be held hostage to a single provider of energy.

America is roaring back, and now is the time to invest in the future of America.  We have dramatically cut taxes to make America competitive.  We are eliminating burdensome regulations at a record pace.  We are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive, and accountable.  And we are ensuring our laws are enforced fairly.

We have the best colleges and universities in the world, and we have the best workers in the world.  Energy is abundant and affordable.  There has never been a better time to come to America.

We are also making historic investments in the American military because we cannot have prosperity without security.  To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations.  Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.

My administration is proud to have led historic efforts, at the United Nations Security Council and all around the world, to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to de-nuke the Korean Peninsula.  We continue to call on partners to confront Iran’s support for terrorists and block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon.

We’re also working with allies and partners to destroy jihadist terrorist organizations such as ISIS, and very successfully so.  The United States is leading a very broad coalition to deny terrorists control of their territory and populations, to cut off their funding, and to discredit their wicked ideology.

I am pleased to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has retaken almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria.  There is still more fighting and work to be done and to consolidate our gains.  We are committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who want to commit mass murder to our civilian populations.  I want to thank those nations represented here today that have joined in these crucial efforts.  You are not just securing your own citizens, but saving lives and restoring hope for millions and millions of people.

When it comes to terrorism, we will do whatever is necessary to protect our nation.  We will defend our citizens and our borders.  We are also securing our immigration system, as a matter of both national and economic security.

America is a cutting-edge economy, but our immigration system is stuck in the past.  We must replace our current system of extended-family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country.

In rebuilding America, we are also fully committed to developing our workforce.  We are lifting people from dependence to independence, because we know the single best anti-poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful paycheck.

To be successful, it is not enough to invest in our economy.  We must invest in our people.  When people are forgotten, the world becomes fractured.  Only by hearing and responding to the voices of the forgotten can we create a bright future that is truly shared by all.

The nation’s greatness is more than the sum of its production.  A nation’s greatness is the sum of its citizens:  the values, pride, love, devotion, and character of the people who call that nation home.

From my first international G7 Summit, to the G20, to the U.N. General Assembly, to APEC, to the World Trade Organization, and today at the World Economic Forum, my administration has not only been present, but has driven our message that we are all stronger when free, sovereign nations cooperate toward shared goals and they cooperate toward shared dreams.

Represented in this room are some of the remarkable citizens from all over the world.  You are national leaders, business titans, industry giants, and many of the brightest minds in many fields.

Each of you has the power to change hearts, transform lives, and shape your countries’ destinies.  With this power comes an obligation, however — a duty of loyalty to the people, workers, and customers who have made you who you are.

So together, let us resolve to use our power, our resources, and our voices, not just for ourselves, but for our people — to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes, and to empower their dreams; to protect their families, their communities, their histories, and their futures.

That’s what we’re doing in America, and the results are totally unmistakable.  It’s why new businesses and investment are flooding in.  It’s why our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in so many decades.  It’s why America’s future has never been brighter.

Today, I am inviting all of you to become part of this incredible future we are building together.

Thank you to our hosts, thank you to the leaders and innovators in the audience.  But most importantly, thank you to all of the hardworking men and women who do their duty each and every day, making this a better world for everyone.  Together, let us send our love and our gratitude to make them, because they really make our countries run.  They make our countries great.

Thank you, and God bless you all.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

MR. SCHWAB:  Thank you, Mr. President, for this inspiring speech.  As it is tradition at the forum, I will ask you one or two questions.

And my first question is, why is the tax reform — why has it been of such a high priority for your administration?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, first of all, Klaus, I want to congratulate you.  This is an incredible group of people.  We had dinner last night with about 15 leaders of industry, none of whom I knew, but all of whom I’ve read about for years.  And it was truly an incredible group.  But I think I have 15 new friends.  So this has been really great what you’ve done and putting it together, the economic forum.

The tax reform was a dream of a lot of people over many years, but they weren’t able to get it done.  Many people tried, and Ronald Reagan was really the last to make a meaningful cut and reform.  And ours is cutting and reforming.  We emphasize cut, but the reform is probably almost as important.  We’ve wanted to do it.  It is very tough, politically, to do it.  Hard to believe that would be, but it is very, very tough.  That’s why it hasn’t been done in close to 40 years.

And once we got it going, it was going.  And the big — and I wouldn’t say a total surprise, but one of the big things that happened and took place is AT&T and some others came out very early and they said they were going to pay thousands and thousands of dollars to people that work for their companies.  And you have 300,000, 400,000, 500,000 people working for these companies, and all of a sudden it became like a big waterfall, a big, beautiful waterfall where so many companies are doing it.  And even today they just announced many more.  But every day they announce more and more.  And now it’s a fight for who’s going to give the most.  It started at 1,000, and now we have them up to 3,000.

This is something that we didn’t anticipate.  Oftentimes in business, things happen that you don’t anticipate.  Usually that’s a bad thing, but this was a good thing.  This came out of nowhere.  Nobody ever thought of this as a possibility even.  It wasn’t in the equation.  We waited — we said, wait until February 1st when the checks start coming in.  And people, Klaus, have a lot more money in their paycheck — because it’s not just a little money, this is a lot of money for people making a living doing whatever they may be doing.

And we really though February 1st it was going to kick in and everybody was going to be — well, we haven’t even gotten there yet and it’s kicked in.  And it’s had an incredible impact on the stock market and the stock prices.  We’ve set 84 records since my election — record stock market prices, meaning we hit new highs 84 different times out of a one-year period.  And that’s a great thing.  And in all fairness, that was done before we passed the tax cuts and tax reform.

So what happened is really something special.  Then, as you know, and as I just said, Apple came in with $350 billion.  And I tell you, I spoke with Tim Cook; I said, Tim, I will never consider this whole great run that we’ve made complete until you start building plants in the U.S.  And I will tell you, this moved up very substantially.  But when I heard 350, I thought he was talking — I thought they were talking $350 million.  And, by the way, that’s a nice-sized plant.  Not the greatest, but not bad.  And they said, “No, sir.  It’s $350 billion.”  I said, that is something.

Well, we have tremendous amounts of money, including my newfound friends from last night — great companies.  They’re all investing.  When one of the gentlemen said he’s putting in $2 billion because of the tax cuts, I said to myself, “Wow, he’s actually the cheap one in the group” — because they’re putting in massive numbers of billions of dollars.

So I think you have a brand-new United States.  You have a United States where people from all over the world are looking to come in and invest, and there’s just nothing like what’s happening.

And I just want to finish by — I have a group of people that have been so — I have a whole lot of them, so I won’t introduce because then I’ll insult at least half of them.  But I’ve had a group of people that worked so hard on this and other things.

And we’re really doing — we had a great first year — so successful in so many different ways.  And there’s a tremendous spirit.  When you look at all of the different charts and polls, and you see, as an example, African American unemployment at the historic low — it’s never had a period of time like this.  Same with Hispanic.  Women at a 17-year low.  It’s very heartwarming to see.  But there’s a tremendous spirit in the United States.  I would say it’s a spirit like I have never witnessed before.  I’ve been here for awhile.  I have never witnessed the spirit that our country has right now.

So I just want to thank you all, and all those that are pouring billions of dollars into our country, or ten dollars into our country, we thank you very much.  Thank you.

MR. SCHWAB:  Mr. President, I will ask you, maybe, a personal question.  But before doing so, I’d just like to —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Sounds very interesting.

MR. SCHWAB: — acknowledge that —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  I didn’t know about this one.

MR. SCHWAB:  I would like to acknowledge the strong presence of your Cabinet members

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Yes.

MR. SCHWAB: — who tremendously contributed to the discussions the last (inaudible).

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Good, I would like to do that.  That’s very nice.

MR. SCHWAB:  Yeah.  Now —

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Steven, Wilbur, Gary, Robert, even my General and my various other generals, you know.  We’re making our military protection a little bit better for us too.  So thank you very much.  Does everybody understand that?  I think so.  Thank you all for being here.

MR. SCHWAB:  Now my, maybe personal, question would be: What experience from your past have been most useful in preparing you for the Presidency?

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Well, being a businessman has been a great experience for me.  I’ve loved it.  I’ve always loved business.  I’ve always been good at building things, and I’ve always been successful at making money.  I’d buy things that would fail –that would be failures — and I’d turn them around and try and get them for the right price, and then I’d turn them around and make them successful.  And I’ve been good at it.  And that takes a certain ability.

And, you know, historically, I guess, there’s never really been a businessman or businessperson elected President.  It’s always been a general or a politician.  Throughout history, it’s always been a general — you had to be a general — but mostly it was politicians.  You never have a businessman.

And then, in all fairness, I was saying to Klaus last night: Had the opposing party to me won — some of whom you backed, some of the people in the room — instead of being up almost 50 percent — the stock market is up since my election almost 50 percent — rather than that, I believe the stock market from that level, the initial level, would have been down close to 50 percent.  That’s where we were heading.  I really believe that — because they were going to put on massive new regulations.  You couldn’t breathe.  It was choking our country to death.  And I was able to see that, Klaus, as a businessperson.

The other thing is, I’ve always seemed to get, for whatever reason, a disproportionate amount of press or media.  (Laughter.)  Throughout my whole life — somebody will explain someday why — but I’ve always gotten a lot.  (Laughter.)  And as businessman I was always treated really well by the press.  The numbers speak and things happen, but I’ve always really had a very good press.  And it wasn’t until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be.  As the cameras start going off in the background.  (Laughter.)

But overall — I mean, the bottom line — somebody said, well, they couldn’t have been that bad because here we are — we’re President.  And I think we’re doing a really great job with my team.  I have a team of just tremendous people, and I think we’re doing a very special job.  And I really believe it was time, and it was time to do that job, because I don’t think the United States would have done very well if it went through four or eight more years of regulation and, really, a very anti-business group of people.

We have a very pro-business group.  We have regulations cut to a level — in the history of our country, Klaus — this was reported recently.  In one year we’ve cut more regulations in my administration than any other administration in four, eight, or sixteen years, in the one case.  We’ve cut more regulations in one year, and we have a ways to go.  I mean, we’re probably 50 percent done.

And we’re going to have regulation.  There’s nothing wrong with rules and regulations; you need them.  But we’ve cut more than any administration ever in the history of our country, and we still have a ways to go.  So I think between that and the tremendous tax cuts, we’ve really done something.

And one other thing I said — and I saw it last night with some of the leaders and the businesspeople — I think I’ve been a cheerleader for our country, and everybody representing a company or a country has to be a cheerleader, or no matter what you do, it’s just not going to work.  And the reason I’m a cheerleader is because it’s easy — because I love our country and I think we’re just doing really well.

And we look forward to seeing you in America — special place — and where you are is a special place also.

Thank you all very much.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)

MR. SCHWAB:  Thank you.  Thank you very much, Mr. President, for being with us.

The World Economic Forum community, who is assembled here, will be certainly — and I quote you from the last piece of your remarks — will be certainly among “the hardworking men and women who do their duty each and every day making this world a better place for everyone.”

Thank you very much for being with us.

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  Thank you.  Thank you very much everybody.  Thank you.  (Applause.

END

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