Donald Trump tells Davos: ‘Now is the perfect time to invest in America’

US President Donald Trump leaves the stage after addressing the global business elite at Davos. (AP)
Updated 27 January 2018

Donald Trump tells Davos: ‘Now is the perfect time to invest in America’

DAVOS: President Donald Trump lived up to his reputation as a business-focused politician with a special address to the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos that concentrated on his achievements in economic and financial policy — especially the big tax cuts he has brought in.
He told a packed gathering of business leaders and policymakers that his policies had led to strong economic growth and to stock markets “smashing all records.”
“There has never been a better time to invest in the USA. America is open for business, and now is the perfect time to bring business, jobs and investment to the US,” he told them.
“We have created $7 trillion dollars worth of wealth on the stock markets, and created 2.4 million new jobs in the US,” he said.
The president said that he had “revived the American dream after years of stagnation,” and that his policies had led to the lowest unemployment rates for African, Hispanic and female Americans. He said his tax cuts had increased household incomes “by thousands of dollars” in the US.
In a question session after his address with Klaus Schwab, executive chairman and founder of the WEF, Trump revealed that he had dinner in Davos with 15 business leaders who had “become friends” after he explained his economic policies to them. Some had promised to bring “billions of dollars” back to the US as investment.
He singled out Apple as a company that was going to repatriate $350 billion of funds held in overseas, more tax-efficient jurisdictions. “They (the dinner invites) are putting in money. I didn’t know them before but now they are friends.”
He said that tax reform had been a “dream” of American presidents for nearly 40 years, since President Reagan last undertook a major overhaul of the system.
Much of his address concentrated on the performance of the American economy and stock markets since he became president a year ago. He said that this was because he had reduced regulatory and bureaucratic obstacles to doing business.
“Regulation is stealth taxation. We have teams of unelected bureaucracy who are crushing business,” he said.
Trump said that he had pledged to scrap two regulations for every one he introduced, but in fact had managed to eliminate 22 for each new law.
He also said that his administration had lifted self-imposed restrictions on the energy industry, because “no country should be held hostage over energy.”
Some analysts had forecast a hostile reception and even an organized walkout when the president began speaking, but the delegates mostly listened in silence and gave polite applause at the end.
There were signs of hostility on only two occasions. Some attendees murmured aloud when Schwab, introducing Trump, said that he had been the victim of “misconception and biased interpretation.”
The media contingent in the Davos audience also voiced their disapproval when Trump said that he had always had a good press as a businessman but that since he had become president the media had become “nasty, mean, vicious and fake.”


China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

Updated 05 April 2020

China says it has sold nearly four billion masks abroad

  • Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies
  • China has also exported 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1
BEIJING: China has sold nearly four billion masks to foreign countries since March, officials said Sunday, as they tried to stem widespread fears over the quality of medical exports.
Despite Chinese cases dwindling, Beijing has encouraged factories to increase production of medical supplies as the pandemic kills over 60,000 globally and parts of the world face a protective equipment shortage.
China has exported 3.86 billion masks, 37.5 million pieces of protective clothing, 16,000 ventilators and 2.84 million COVID-19 testing kits since March 1, customs official Jin Hai said, with orders to more than 50 countries.
She added the country’s medical supply exports were valued at $1.4 billion.
However numerous nations — including the Netherlands, the Philippines, Croatia, Turkey and Spain — have complained about substandard or faulty medical products shipped from China.
Last week, the Dutch government recalled 600,000 masks out of a Chinese shipment of 1.3 million that did not meet quality standards.
China said the manufacturer “stated clearly that (the masks) are non-surgical.”
Spain also rejected thousands of rapid test kits sent by an unauthorized Chinese company after it found that they were unreliable last week.
Chinese officials hit back on Sunday at media reports over defective medical supplies, saying that they “did not reflect the full facts.”
“In reality there are various factors, such as China having different standards and different usage habits to other countries. Even improper use can lead to doubts over quality,” said Jiang Fan, an official with the Ministry of Commerce.
The comments echoed remarks from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, who over the past week has repeatedly urged Western media not to “politicize” or “hype up” the issue.
Earlier this week, Beijing tightened regulations for exported coronavirus medical equipment, requiring products to fulfil both domestic licensing standards and that of their destination countries.
China has also increased its production capacity of COVID-19 testing kits to over 4 million a day, said Zhang Qi, an official with the National Medical Products Administration.