The World Economic Annual Forum is entering its second day on Wednesday from Davos, Switzerland and U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to participate in the forum and later give a keynote speech as attention shifts to his “America First” agenda at the annual forum, attended by economic and political leaders across the globe.
Political leaders including French President Emmanuel Marcon, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Rwandan President Paul Kagame, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are attending the meeting alongside celebrities, economists, and a list of bank CEO’s.
On Tuesday Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave a speech with feminist tones that included advocating for equality with women pay, confronting sexual harassment, and an announcement that Canada will enter into a TPP trade agreement with 11 TPP members in Tokyo.
Trump’s “America First” Protectionist Agenda
One of the first actions U.S. President Donald Trump took after his inauguration in January 2016 included removing the U.S. from TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and halting the U.S. from TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), a proposed trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union.
While touting his “American First” agenda, President Trump also withdrew the U.S. from the historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement and is currently threatening to remove the U.S. from NAFTA, a multi-lateral trade agreement signed in 1994 between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.
On Tuesday President Trump decided through executive action to impose U.S. tariffs on imported residential washing machines and all solar products which is expected to have an impact on Chinese solar production, the world’s largest solar power production country.
Predicting that the new 30 percent tariff will lead to more solar products being made in the U.S., President Trump said, “Our companies have been decimated, and those companies are going to be coming back strong.”
Environmentalists widely disapprove of President Trump’s decision which will likely hurt solar installation jobs in the U.S.
The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the national trade association for the U.S. industry, and its members expressed disappointment in President Trump’s decision to impose a 30 percent tariffs on imported solar cells and panels.
The impact will be far-reaching across all sectors of the solar economy, SEIA members said.
President Trump’s tariff decision will cause the loss of an estimated 23,000 American jobs in 2018, including many manufacturing jobs, and it will lead to the delay or cancellation of billions in solar investments.
“It boggles my mind that this president- any president really- would voluntarily choose to damage one of the fastest growing segments of our economy” said Tony Clifford, chief development officer of Solar Standard in a press release.
Bill Vietas, president of RBI Solar in Cincinnati said, “There’s no doubt this decision will hurt U.S. manufacturing, not help it.”
“The U.S. solar manufacturing sector has been growing as our industry has surged over the past five years. Government tariffs will increase the cost of solar and depress demand, which will reduce the orders we’re getting and cost manufacturing workers their jobs” Vietas added.
Speaking from the Oval Office during the tariff signing, President Trump said that they are negotiating a new deal with NAFTA which he described as “moving along pretty well” and later admitted, “we’ll see how it works out” after threatening to terminate it if it doesn’t work out.
President Trump said that the U.S. is in the process of negotiating with other countries, “all of which have treated us unfairly.”
Claiming that the U.S. had “poor representation for years” he said that previous trade deals hurt American companies, factories, and workers.
More Trade Protectionism
During a press conference from the Oval Office on Tuesday, President Trump admitted they are looking at steel and aluminum tariffs.
After denying that there will be a trade war from his recent tariffs on Tuesday, President Trump maintained there will only be stock increases for the companies that are in this country.
“I’m going to Davos. We’ll be talking about investing in the United States again, for people to come in and spend their money in the good old U.S.A.” Trump said.
Written and Edited By: