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Snow, ice and Trump: What Davos is talking about

28 January 2018

Well said. Unlike President Barack Obama, who only saw the economic elite as just another group he could lecture, Trump truly believes in the role these individuals - and the businesses they run - play in promoting prosperity and generating wealth.

Top U.S. officials trumpeted America's commitment to free and fair trade while bracing for possible retaliation by China over new U.S. import tariffs, ahead of a much-ballyhooed visit by President Donald Trump to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The president also will hold a number of one-on-one meetings with other world leaders on the sidelines of the two-day meeting of global leaders and corporate executives. More than 70 heads of state and governments will arrive, including the presidents of the United States, France, Brazil, Argentina, Tunisia, Poland, and Ukraine.

Reuters reports that about 20 protesters broke through a security cordon to reach the Davos Congress Center, holding banners and yelling "Wipe out WEF" before they were peacefully dispersed by police.

"They are now licking their lips", said Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel laureate economist.

His language in Davos so far suggests he is less likely to emphasise his "America First" agenda and threats to end deals that underpin global trade.

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Trump will fly into a forum also buzzing with discussions about fighting harassment and gender inequality.

"Trump at Davos would be greeted about the same way an appearance by [disgraced Hollywood producer] Harvey Weinstein would go off at the Oscars", Whalen said.

On the eve of his arrival, members of Trump's economic team previewed the strategy for increasing US global competitiveness.

Trump will travel to the gathering of global elites later this week.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross later told CNBC that his colleague was "not advocating for a weaker dollar", but he also struck a combative tone.

Trump plans to deliver the keynote address Friday, the closing day of the summit.

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One year later his arrival at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the epitome of elites, will run contrary to much that he espoused on the U.S. election campaign.

Swiss television RSR showed a sign that read "Who was the Shithole?", in reference to reported remarks by Trump about Haiti and African countries, which he has denied.

Many talked of taking the protest to the World Economic Forum in Davos but due to the small size of the town and the heavy snowfall, that could be hard.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he had "strongly recommended" that Trump attend the forum during a recent phone conversation, saying he thought it was a good thing for Trump to explain his strategic goals and hear different viewpoints.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi named "protectionism" - or nations focusing on themselves - as one of the three greatest challenges facing the world today. Police have lined the roads and set up road blocks to guide the protest through the centre of the city, even down the famous Banhoffstrasse where numerous world's richest people are often seen shopping or going about their business. Trump's advisers say he'll link his governing agenda to the record markets and low unemployment now fueling American growth.

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Snow, ice and Trump: What Davos is talking about