Free trade in the increasingly interconnected global scenario would appear to be something all countries would actively seek nowadays.
The irony of the “Don” of protectionism pleading for free, fair and open trade might not have been lost on his critics. But US President Donald Trump did make a fair impression at the World Economic Forum in Davos where he spent a couple of days making a pitch for the US as an investment and business destination to several hundred plutocrats of the global business world. Reading an impressive line from the teleprompter on how “America First” did not mean “America alone”, Mr Trump was very much the real estate salesman hardselling his country to global traders and head honchos of industries. In his sweet-talking avatar before a packed gathering, Mr Trump even went to the extent of promising to go back to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which he had abrogated in one of his first acts on assuming office a year ago.
Free trade in the increasingly interconnected global scenario would appear to be something all countries would actively seek nowadays. Last year, Xi Jinping of China was the one who was pleading for open trade, which went down well because the Davos gatherings have always focused on trade, even if the leaders of nations there would like to use it as a forum for broader action. Mr Trump pointed out how a new, lower corporate tax structure, economy that grew at 2.6 per cent in the last quarter and job creation made today’s US the place to be in. The sceptics may still knock Mr Trump for not using the opportunity to deliver even a hint of commitment to go along with the world on battling climate change. But the Trump we saw in Davos was his business avatar. He may have been soundly booed when he slipped in his “fake” media phobia comment, but the world would like to believe Mr Trump was being sincere in inviting the globalists to the US to do business.