5 Gems From President Trump's Davos Speech
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump delivered a powerful speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He encouraged foreign countries and businesses to invest in America, and explained why the future has never been brighter for the United States.
Here are 5 gems from his speech.
1. A simple message.
"I'm here to deliver a simple message: There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States," Trump declared. "America is open for business and we are competitive once again."
The president backed up this statement by remarking on signs of a strong economy. He mentioned the stock market "smashing one record after another," and adding more than $7 trillion in new wealth since his election. "Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest that they have been in many decades."
Trump also touted the 2.4 million jobs created since his election, and argued that small business optimism is at an all-time high. "New unemployment claims are near the lowest we've seen in almost half a century," he declared.
Perhaps most positively, the president noted that "African American unemployment reached the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States and so has unemployment among Hispanic Americans."
These are substantial achievements, and while other factors may also have bolstered the economy, they took place on Trump's watch. The president is right — now is a great time to invest in America.
2. Tax reform.
Trump naturally championed the greatest legislative achievement of his young presidency as another key reason to invest in the U.S. "The American economy is by far the largest in the world and we've just enacted the most significant tax cuts and reform in American history," he declared. "We've massively cut taxes for the middle class, and small businesses to let working families keep more of their hard earned money. "
Trump's tax reform may or may not be "the most significant tax cuts and reform in American history," but it certainly marked a tremendous achievement for the president and his party. In an interesting twist, the reform law may force American diplomats to rework previous international treaties — one reason why the president's discussion of tax reform at Davos was so important.
"We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent. As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as $3,000," Trump declared. This is true, and important to note. Also, the Internal Revenue Service is working to ensure that tax cuts will be felt across the board in February paychecks.
"The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American's household income by more than $4,000," the president continued. He noted that "the world's largest company, Apple, announced it plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America. Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years."
Returning to the "invest in America" theme, Trump insisted that due to tax reform, "now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States."
3. Regulatory reform.
The president did not just champion tax reform, however. Under his leadership, the federal bureaucracy has slashed a remarkable 22 regulations for every one new one. (This includes proposed rules left over from the Obama administration that were never implemented, but it is still impressive.)
Trump said it is time to invest in the U.S. " because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived." This might have been an exaggeration — Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge presided over the dismantling of President Woodrow Wilson's extensive war-time bureaucracy — but it is no less remarkable for that.
Impressively, the president noted that "regulation is stealth taxation." American families may pay more in regulation than in taxes — and they don't even know it. According to a report from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) last year, if the hidden cost of regulations (extra hoops that slow down business and wealth creation) were passed directly to the average American family, each family would pay $14,809 — in addition to their taxes.
"Unelected bureaucrats — we have, believe me — we have them all over the place, and they have imposed crushing and anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability," Trump declared, summing up the libertarian/small government conservative argument in a nutshell.
The president added, "In America those days are over. I pledged to eliminate two unnecessary regulations for every one new regulation. We have succeeded beyond our highest expectations. Instead of two for one, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for everyone new rule. We are freeing our businesses and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before."
Through this reform, "We are creating an environment that attracts capital, invites investment, and rewards production. America is the place to do business, so come to America where you can innovate, create and build." Invest now!
4. America first — not America alone.
While President Trump touted America's strong position and his dedication to helping "America first," he insisted that this does not mean "America alone."
"I believe in America. As president of the United States I will always put America first just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also. But America first does not mean America alone," he declared. "When the United States grows, so does the world."
Trump repeated his common refrain that "we cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others." In a subtle dig at China, he insisted that "the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning."
The president did commit promise to "negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries," however. He mentioned the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), saying he would be willing to negotiate with "the countries within TPP, which are very important."
Trump also explained his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. "We are lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide affordable power to our citizens and businesses and to promote energy security for our friends all around the world," he said.
Finally, the president said his administration is "proud to have led historic efforts at the United Nations Security Council and all around the world to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to de-nuke the Korean peninsula." He also mentioned work to confront "Iran's support for terrorists and block Iran's path to a nuclear weapon."
Trump mentioned working with "allies and partners to destroy jihadi terrorist organizations such as ISIS," the Islamic State. "I am pleased to the support that the coalition to defeat ISIS has retaken almost 100 percent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria."
5. The single-best anti-poverty program.
The president concluded his speech by praising the most effective anti-poverty program.
"In rebuilding America we are also fully committed to developing our workforce. We are lifting people from dependence to independence because we know the single-best anti-poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful paycheck," Trump declared.
This emphasis on job creation lay at the center of the president's economic efforts. He summed it all up:
We have dramatically cut taxes it make America competitive. We are eliminating burdensome regulations at a record pace. We are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive and accountable and we are insuring our laws are enforced fairly. We have the best colleges and universities in the world and we have the best workers in the world. Energy is an abundant and affordable. There is never been a better time to do business in America.
Trump ended his speech right where he began it. He called on other countries to join America in using "our power, our resources, and our voices not just for ourselves but for our people — to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes, and to empower their dreams. ... That's what we're doing in America, and the results are totally unmistakeable."
That, the president argued, is "why America's future has never been brighter," and why the world should want to invest in the United States. Could he have given a more powerful message?
Watch Trump's speech below.