Trump lauds U.S. economy in Davos, while Thunberg slams elites

Trump careful to keep away from climate change to avoid getting booed, economist says

U.S. President Donald Trump, centre, arrives in Davos, Switzerland on Marine One, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he’s led a “spectacular” turnaround of the U.S. economy and urged the world to invest in America, but had less to say about climate change issues that are a focus of this year’s gathering of top business and political leaders in the Swiss Alps.

Trump kept to his speech script and did not mention the historic impeachment trial that was set to reconvene in the U.S. Senate in Washington later Tuesday. But he couldn’t resist when asked about the trial by the hordes of reporters covering the World Economic Form in Davos.

“It’s disgraceful,” Trump said of the proceeding.

Trump’s two-day visit is a test of his ability to balance his anger over being impeached with a desire to project leadership on the world stage.

He reminded the audience that when he spoke here in 2018, “I told you that we had launched the great American comeback.”

“Today, I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” the president said.

American economist Kenneth Rogoff took issue with Trump’s comments, saying some of Trump’s claims about the strength of the U.S. economy are true. But Rogoff noted that the economy wasn’t doing badly when Trump took office. “It’s been a good 10 years and his three years probably better than expected,” Rogoff said, adding that he thought Trump was careful to keep his comments about climate change to a minimum to avoid getting booed.

Climate issues are a main theme at the forum and the phrase “Act on Climate” was written in the snow at the landing zone where Trump’s Marine One helicopter set down in Davos.

Late last year, the Trump administration began pulling the U.S. out of the landmark 2015 Paris climate agreement under which nearly 200 nations set goals to curb emissions of heat-trapping gasses that lead to climate change. Trump has called the Paris accord an unfair economic burden to the U.S. economy.

Trump’s speech was met with virtual silence by the audience, apart from a brief flurry of applause when Trump said the U.S. would join a World Economic Forum initiative to plant 1 trillion trees worldwide.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has been criticized by Trump, said world and business leaders aren’t taking the threat of global warming seriously.

“Planting trees is good of course, but it’s nowhere near enough,” Thunberg said.

Trump’s participation at the forum provided another conspicuous split-screen moment in his presidency. Before entering the hall to deliver his speech, Trump called the trial “disgraceful” and part of “the witch hunt that’s been going on for years.”

Asked whether Trump would tune in to the impeachment trial, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an email that Trump has a “full day” in Davos “but will be briefed by staff periodically.”

READ MORE: What to watch as Trump impeachment trial takes off

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack hospital offers thank-you message to community

Chilliwack health-care workers say they have heard everyone’s support throughout COVID-19 pandemic

What would you like to ask Hope’s Mayor on COVID-19?

Send us your questions, ahead of a conversation with Peter Robb

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

‘It’s frightening’: Hemlock Valley trucker on being on the road during COVID-19

Armed with a keychain-sized hand sanitizer, trucker Brennan Bateman set out for the United States

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read