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Trump lauds US economy and pledges to plant a trillion trees

By Hugh Wilson

US president hails America’s 'great comeback' and 'roaring geyser of opportunity' in speech to world’s elite at Davos

President Trump used his Davos speech on Tuesday to talk up his economic achievements and pledge to plant a trillion trees in the fight against climate change.

Ignoring the impeachment trial beginning in the US, Trump hailed economic growth under his leadership as a “roaring geyser of opportunity”. He added that the US-China relationship had “probably never been better”.

Talks on a phase two trade deal with Beijing would start shortly, he said, and that “most tariffs will remain in place” for those talks.

In a thinly disguised election stump speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF), Trump largely stuck to familiar themes. He lauded “the great American comeback” and called US trade deals with China and Mexico models for the 21st century.

On Brexit, Trump said he hoped to make a “tremendous” deal with the UK and praised “wonderful” prime minister Boris Johnson.

The President also took aim at the US Federal Reserve, which he claimed “raised rates too fast and cut them too slowly”. His economic boom happened despite the efforts of the US central bank rather than because of them, he said.

The most surprising moment of the speech came when Trump signed the US up to a global initiative to plant a trillion trees over the next decade to help combat climate change.

But he poured scorn on environmentalists like teenage campaigner Greta Thunberg, who was also giving a speech to Davos on Tuesday. He called them “perennial prophets of doom” and said this was a time for optimism not pessimism.

The WEF’s own report, published ahead of Davos, found that issues related to climate change dominated a list of likely risks to global prosperity in the next decade.

FURTHER READING: US-China phase one trade agreement signed in Washington

FURTHER READING: TRON founder Justin Sun pledges $1m to Greta Thunberg

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