Trump lauds US economy in Davos

Donald Trump, Simonetta Sommaruga, Switzerland, Davos
President Donald Trump meets with Swiss President Simonetta Sommaruga at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos, Switzerland. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

DAVOS, Switzerland — President Donald Trump on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the turnaround of the U.S. economy was “spectacular” while urging the world to invest in America.

In his speech to the group, Trump did not mention the historic impeachment trial that began in the U.S. Senate in Washington on Tuesday. When asked about the trial by the hordes of reporters covering the forum, Trump said, “It’s disgraceful.”

Trump 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.

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 pulled the U.S. out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, calling the 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.

Trump spent nearly all of his approximately 30-minute speech describing U.S. economic gains under his leadership.

“America is thriving. America is flourishing, and yes, America is winning again like never before,” Trump said, before talking about a newly signed trade deal with China and a pending U.S. trade agreement with Mexico and Canada. He also spoke of record low unemployment, stock market gains and millions of people removed from the welfare rolls.

Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz criticized Trump for failing to address the climate emergency beyond a commitment that the U.S. will join the trillion trees initiative.

“He managed to say absolutely zero on climate change,” Stiglitz said. “Meanwhile we’re going to roast.”

Trump’s appearance at the forum ends Wednesday when he travels back to a Washington that’s consumed by the impeachment trial.

Trump met Tuesday with the forum’s founder and the new European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, the first woman to hold the position. Trump cited her reputation as a tough negotiator as a factor in new economic deals with Europe.

“Trade right now, and a deal between ourselves and essentially Europe, is something that we all want to be able to make,” Trump said.

Trump also was meeting Tuesday with the leaders of Switzerland and Pakistan.