Trump warns Davos on unfair trade; says U.S. 'open for business'

Jeff Swensen  Getty Images

Jeff Swensen Getty Images

"I believe in America", Trump told a jam-packed auditorium at the conclusion of the annual World Economic Forum.

"We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal".

And that, perhaps, was one of the strongest bonds Trump had with his audience, including many business titans from the United States and across the world.

Aides said ahead of the president's speech that it would be a kind of pitch for the United States, where Trump is working to foster a new business climate of low taxes and limited regulations.

"Like all nations represented at this forum, America hopes for a future in which everyone can prosper, and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty and fear", he said. USA officials said there was no disagreement between Trump and Mnuchin, and the Treasury Secretary had been making a factual observation about the impact of a lower dollar, not announcing a policy preference to drive it down.

DONALD Trump today boasted Davos has "never had crowds like this before" as he promised his speech to world leaders would bring global "peace and prosperity".

"If you treat us one way, we will treat you the same way", Cohn said. "It's hard to argue against that". That could include members of a Trans-Pacific trade agreement from which he has withdrawn, he said, adding he would consider negotiating with them collectively if it was in the USA interest. The other 11 countries continued to move forward with the deal. He said he would consider negotiating with TPP states collectively, if it was in America's interest. "I think it's going to be a great message that people are going to like hearing". "Consumer confidence, business confidence and manufacturing confidence are the highest they have ever been in many decades".

Two weeks ago, when Trump said he would attend the Davos summit, the assumption was that he would be entering a lion's den of hostile global elites.

"Almost anybody who has been coming to Davos as long as I have couldn't help but notice", he said.

The comment elicited a mixture of boos and laughter from the audience.

His speech was mostly met by polite applause, although he drew some jeers and whistles during a question and answer session, when he attacked the news media: "It wasn't until I became a politician that I realised how nasty, how mean, how vicious and how fake the press can be", he said.

Trump did not address the bombshell report that he had tried to fire Robert Mueller, who is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation for 2016 election meddling as well as possible obstruction of justice charges against the President.

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