Peter S. Goodman is the European economic correspondent for the New York Times, based In London. Following the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Goodman has commented on speeches from various individuals including President of France, Emmanuel Macron and the US President, Donald Trump.
Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, spoke forcefully at the World Economic Forum Wednesday on advancing European integration, while defending the notion of international cooperation.
As Peter S. Goodman reports, this was in line with the message of European integration echoed in both Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel’s speech as well as Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni’s. Each leader expressed a desire to regain force in Europe, channelling their new found economic strength towards advancing the project of European integration.
Emphasis was placed on commitment to prosperity through global commerce which contrasts heavily with President Trump’s “America First” policy of pullbacks on international trade agreements and the Paris Climate Agreement.
Macron in particular described a French responsibility to translate French values into a form of capitalism that delivers growth as well as increased opportunities, not just for the wealthy.
[no_blockquote text=”If I cannot explain to people that globalisation is good for them, and that it will help them develop their own lives, then they will be the nationalists, the extremists who want to get out of the system,“ Macron said. “And they will win in every country.” show_border=”yes” show_quote_icon=”yes”]
Following this strong message from these European leaders, President Trump’s presence at the forum showed itself to be more pragmatic than expected. Whilst his speech included boasting of a booming American stock market and strong economic growth after “years of stagnation”, Goodman explains that reports of Trump’s behaviour showed an eagerness to ingratiate himself and encourage foreign investment in America.
His recent tax cuts were also a topic of conversation, with Trump claiming that the cuts would be better for all Americans, economists state that the cuts are predicted to exacerbate economic inequality, predominantly benefiting corporations and wealthy American households. Unsurprisingly therefore, various business leaders at the forum expressed support for Trump’s tax cuts. The head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab said: “On behalf of the business leaders here in this room let me particularly congratulate you for the historic tax reform,” Mr. Schwab said, adding that the tax cuts were “fostering job creation while providing a tremendous boost to the world economy.”
As Goodman reports, there is evidently a gaping disconnect between the united message of European leaders contrasted with Mr Trump’s America First ethos.
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