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Trump reiterates "America First" but softening tone at Davos forum

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-01-27 05:52

DAVOS, Switzerland -- US President Donald Trump delivered a closely-watched closing speech at the World Economic Forum on Friday afternoon, reiterating the "America First" policy but toning down his rhetoric.

"As president of the United States, I will always put America First," Trump told global business elite in this Swiss ski resort. "America first does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world."

The US president also expressed his willingness to negotiate bilateral free trade deals with countries including those in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and reciprocal. Because in the end, unfair trade undermines us all," he said. "Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade, can we create a system that works not just for the United States but for all nations.''

The United States, he said, is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial bilateral trade agreements with all countries. This includes the countries in TPP 11.

"We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in all of our interests," added Trump.

On Thursday, Trump had signaled the reconsideration in an interview with CNBC in Davos, saying "I would do TPP if we were able to make a substantially better deal".

Trump, who was the first incumbent US president to attend the Davos WEF forum since Bill Clinton in 2000, also took the time to show off the achievements of the US economy since his administration came into power one year ago.

Saying "America is roaring back", the US president said his administration has dramatically cut taxes to "make America competitive".

According to Trump, the US lowered its corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and the tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American's household income by more than $4,000.

Calling on business leaders to bring business, jobs and investments to the United States, Trump said "It is the perfect time".

Over foreign policy, Trump repeated his hardline stance on such issues as the Korean peninsula, Iran, fight against terrorism, and Islamic State.

In the Q&A session following his speech, the US president also took the chance to attack the "nasty, mean, vicious and very fake" media, which prompted boos from the audience.

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