US leader urges world to adopt the successful ‘American model’

US President Donald Trump speaks during the Global Chief Executive Officers dinner at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on January 21, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 January 2020

US leader urges world to adopt the successful ‘American model’

  • The Middle East received only a passing mention, in reference to the G20 summit of global leaders in Riyadh later this year, but energy policy figured high up the president’s comments

DAVOS: US President Donald Trump told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the “American dream is back, bigger, better and stronger than before” in an address that celebrated his economic record after three years in the White House.
Trump’s 30-minute speech to a packed Congress Hall at the opening plenary session mainly consisted of statistics aimed at showing his success in creating jobs, raising earnings and stimulating growth. “This has been a blue-collar boom. We are determined to create the highest standard of living that anyone can imagine,” he said.
“It is an economic boom the like of which the world has never experienced before,” he added.
The President made no mention of the reported $3 million “bounty” that had been offered by an Iranian legislator to anybody who killed him. Ahmed Hamzeh, from the province that was also home to Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed in a US air strike this month, made the threat in the Iranian Parliament, according to local media.
Trump also proclaimed his triumph in the trade war with China, after the recent “phase one” deal to reduce some tariffs and normalize some aspects of US-China commerce. “We have been addressing chronic problems that have been around for decades. China’s predator practices have been getting worse and worse under previous administrations,” he said.
In the wake of the trade deal, he said that US-China relations had “never been better,” adding: “President Xi is for China, and I am for the USA, but apart from that we love each other.”
Apart from Chinese relations, and some remarks about the trade deals he had concluded with Japan and South Korea, the speech — in the week that impeachment proceedings begin in Washington — focused almost exclusively on American domestic economic policy. He said that American markets had risen by 50 per cent under his presidency, despite the policies of the Federal Reserve, which has kept interest rates low.
Trump highlighted the fact that some economies had negative interest rates, drawing a rare laugh from the delegates when he said: “That means that they pay you to borrow money. That’s something I could get used to very quickly.”
The Middle East received only a passing mention, in reference to the G20 summit of global leaders in Riyadh later this year, but energy policy figured high up the president’s comments.
He said that the US was “by far” the biggest energy producer in the world, with other energy exporters “not even close,” and he said that energy policy under his administration had been “so successful we no longer have to import energy from hostile nations.”
In a nod to climate change — the other great content of Davos 2020 — Trump celebrated his environmental policy which he said had produced the “cleanest air and water,” and committed the US to joining the WEF campaign to plant 1 trillion trees over the next decade to combat emissions of carbon dioxide.
The Trump address was introduced by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, who praised the US president for bringing a note of optimism to the annual meeting, which has been more downbeat on global issues than for many years. He was preceded by a Swiss male choir singing an Alpine song.
Trump urged other countries to adopt the “American model” to unify their countries and develop “pro-worker, pro-citizen and pro-family” policies.
“Only when governments put their own citizens first will people become invested in their own futures,” he said.
Trump closed his speech by urging delegates to emulate the efforts of the Renaissance builders of the Duomo in Florence and the workers repairing Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.


Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

Updated 26 February 2020

Lufthansa to freeze hiring, cut costs over coronavirus

  • ‘All new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred’
  • Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German airline Lufthansa said Wednesday it would freeze new hires and use unpaid leave and additional short-time work to cut costs to help cushion the economic impact of the novel coronavirus.
“To counteract the economic impact of the coronavirus of the early stage,” the group, which also owns carriers Austrian and Swiss, said in a statement that “all new hires ... will be reassessed, suspended or deferred.”
Employees would be offered unpaid leave and more part-time work and the group would also seek to cut administrative costs, it said.
“It is not yet possible to estimate the expected impact ... on earnings,” the group said, adding that it would provide more details at its annual results press conference on March 19.
The Frankfurt-based group said 13 of its aircraft were grounded, after it canceled all flights to and from mainland China by its flagship airline, as well as Austrian and Swiss until March 28.
Lufthansa has also slashed connections with Hong Kong in the face of reduced demand “and additional frequency adjustments to and from Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich are planned,” it said.