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Trump touts 'strong, prosperous' America at World Economic Forum

By
Sara Shayanian and Susan McFarland
President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. Photo by Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE
President Donald Trump addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday. Photo by Laurent Gillieron/EPA-EFE

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump told leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Friday the United States is open for business and competitive once again.

"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America ... there has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States," Trump said.

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The president spoke about his pledge to eliminate unnecessary regulations so businesses and employees "can thrive and flourish as never before." Encouraging trade, Trump said, puts his country first.

"But America first does not mean America alone," he said. "When the United States grows, so does the world."

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Trump said the United States "will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practice, including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies and pervasive statewide economic planning."

"These and other predatory behaviors are destroying the global markets and harming businesses and workers not just in the U.S. but around the globe," he said.

Trump defended his trade policy, saying his administration would consider negotiating Pacific trade agreements "if it is in the interests of all."

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He said his administration is lifting self-imposed restrictions on energy production to provide "affordable power to our citizens and to our businesses and to promote energy security for our friends all around the world."

"No country shall be held hostage to a single provider of energy," he said.

Trump also called for other nations to join him in a maximum pressure campaign to de-nuclearize the Korean Peninsula and said the United States is working with allies and partners to destroy jihadist terrorist organizations.

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"The United States is leading a very broad coalition to deny terrorist control of their territory and populations to cut off their funding and to discredit their wicked ideology," he said.

The president said the coalition to defeat Islamic State has retaken almost 100 percent of the territory once held by the killers in Iraq and Syria.

"We are committed to ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorists who want to commit mass murder to our civilian populations," he said, adding a thank you to other nations who have joined in the efforts. "You are not just securing your own citizens, but saving lives and restoring hope for millions and millions of people."

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"When it comes to terrorism, we will do whatever is necessary to protect our nation. We will defend our citizens and our borders," Trump said. "We are also securing our immigration system, as a matter of both national and economic security."

Speaking on immigration, the president said the current system in the United States is outdated and promised a change.

"We are also securing our immigration system as a matter of national and economic security," he said. "America is a cutting-edge economy but our immigration system is stuck in the past."

The president, who arrived in Davos on Thursday just days after signing her tariffs to help American manufacturers, met with world leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

During the meeting, Trump defended his decision to cut foreign aid to Palestine.

"We give them [the Palestinians] hundreds of millions of dollars a year -- that is on the table -- why should we do something for them when they do nothing for us?" Trump asked.

The president also told Prime Minister Theresa May he expected the United States to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with Britain.

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"We, too, have that really special relationship between the U.K. and the United States," May told Trump. "It's at each other's shoulders. We face the same challenges across the world, and as you say we're willing to go and to defeat those challenges and meet them."

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