It was a shrewd move by Trump to position himself as meeting with the globalists he had previously decried.
Did Donald Trump perform an economic and foreign policy pivot at the World Economic Forum at Davos? Trump made attacking free trade and globalism a centerpiece of his improbable election victory in 2016 over Hillary Clinton, whose approach to foreign policy seemed to be diametrically opposed to Trump’s. Not only did Trump call for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, but he also alleged that China was seeking to “rape” America economically and that it was “the greatest theft in history.”
At Davos, however, the word China was never mentioned by Trump. Instead, Trump, who was surrounded by a phalanx of his Wall Street advisers, including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, became something of the star of the show by performing what amounted to a volte-face. It was a shrewd move by Trump to position himself as meeting with the globalists he had previously decried. Klaus Schwab, the founder of Davos, defended Trump in the form of decrying “biased interpretations” of him.
If press reports are anything to go by, Trump won over many of the corporate chieftains he had previously denounced, not least because of his pro-business tax plan, including sweeping corporate tax cuts, that were passed by Congress. And Trump himself appeared to enjoy himself as business leaders cozied up to him. The New Yorker pointed out that Davos constituted a kind of Mar-a-Lago writ large for Trump, a place where the ultra-wealthy convene and vie for his favor.