Trump to meet world and business leaders in Davos

Protesters in Zurich and Davos carried banners ahead of Donald Trump's visit to WEF later this week.
Activists protesting in Zurich on Tuesday against the attendance of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Activists protesting in Zurich on Tuesday against the attendance of US President Donald Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, British Prime Minister Theresa May and other world leaders when he attends the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week, White House officials said on Tuesday.

Mr Trump will encourage in-vestment in the United States and cooperation on national se-curity issues, including the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria militant group and North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

He will have a full day of meetings in Davos today, and then deliver a keynote address to the forum tomorrow before returning to the US later that day.

White House senior economic adviser Gary Cohn said Mr Trump will use his speech to encourage global companies to invest in the US and take advantage of his corporate tax cuts.

The President will also stress his "America First" policies and seek more reciprocal trade policies from US allies, Mr Cohn said, in keeping with Mr Trump's belief that international trade deals are tilted against the US.

"The President will continue to promote fair economic competition and will make it clear that there cannot be free and open trade if countries are not held accountable to the rules," Mr Cohn told reporters.

Mr Trump will be the first US president to attend Davos in 20 years, giving him a chance to mingle with the same elite "globalists" that he bashed in his 2016 presidential run.


In addition to meetings with world leaders, Mr Trump will also host a small dinner for European business executives tonight.

"The attendees run companies that have sizeable footprints in the United States. They have invested in our economy, we want them to continue to do so and encourage others to join them," said Mr Cohn.

White House National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Mr Trump will meet Britain's Mrs May to discuss North Korea, the Syrian civil war and the Iran nuclear deal. The US and Britain have been unable to agree on an appropriate time for Mr Trump to visit Britain.

Mr Trump's meeting with Mr Netanyahu will be his first since he declared that the US recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a decision that has strained US ties with some Arab leaders.

Mr McMaster said that in the meeting with Mr Netanyahu, Mr Trump will "reiterate America's strong commitment to Israel and efforts to reduce Iran's influence in the Middle East and ways to achieve lasting peace".


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 25, 2018, with the headline 'Trump to meet world and business leaders in Davos'. Print Edition | Subscribe