, DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 24 – US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday said Donald Trump’s visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos was intended to promote international partnerships, despite the US president’s protectionist “America First” policies.
“(This trip) is about an America First agenda but America First does mean working with the rest of the world,” Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of the elite business conference in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.
“It just means that President Trump is looking out for American interests, no different than other leaders look out for their own,” he added.
Trump is set to speak Friday at the annual gathering of the global pro-trade elite at the Swiss ski resort, in a move that has raised eyebrows because of his anti-trade policies.
The Trump administration has repeatedly lashed out at allegedly unfair trade agreements and practices. Late Monday it announced steep tariffs on imports of solar panels and large washing machines, angering China and South Korea.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, also in Davos, staunchly defended the move, saying the US would not flinch from “trade wars” against countries he said broke the rules.
“Trade wars are fought every single day… and unfortunately every single day there are various parties violating the rules and trying to take unfair advantage,” Ross said.
“Trade wars have been in place for quite a little while. The difference is the US troops are now coming to the ramparts,” he added.