“America is back and I was right,” said Donald Trump, in essence, in Davos. On Tuesday, the man the cameras follow as a rock star played on two boards. The first was boring. While President of the Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga and WEF boss Klaus Schwab made serious remarks about the future of the Earth and the climate, Donald Trump embarked on a long monologue of economic figures, all positive.
Clearly, the United States is the best, the country absorbs 25% of international investment for the first half of 2019 alone. “Do you realize?” In the room, economists smile. The numbers are certainly spectacular, but from there to take all the credit … In short, the United States triumphs. “The time for skepticism is over, companies are flocking to the United States again […]. The American dream is back, stronger than ever. “As he speaks, a young woman discreetly distributes a sheet, partially disputing this assessment.
Obviously, Donald Trump was addressing his constituents first. He is campaigning for re-election. And its target is the blue-collar workers, all those workers who have lost their jobs due to poorly managed trade deals by previous administrations.
This is the link that was feared in economic circles. The United States wants to renegotiate any treaty that the White House tenant considers unbalanced. He becomes insistent when he declares that he no longer tolerates that factories relocate and resell goods at low prices to American households. Donald Trump is firmly convinced of this. The “US” model is the best because it is based on optimism, free enterprise, tax cuts and a fierce struggle against bureaucracy. His re-election would prevent “socialists from destroying his country”. So much for the Americans.
Shale gas: “the” solution
Clever, he is aware that he is in Davos and that he is expected on the climate, a word he will never pronounce. “We must reject the eternal prophets of doom and their predictions of apocalypse.” The phrase is for Greta Thunberg. And as if he wanted to flatter the pride of old Europe which he knows is very worried about his inaction on climate issues, Donald Trump will pay tribute to the genius of the Renaissance, to the symbol of Notre-Dame de Paris, who resisted in fire and which will be rebuilt with a “greater magnificence”.
At that point in the speech, we understand where he is coming from. Unlike the rest of the world, the United States does not question the benefits of growth, let alone fossil fuels. He cites the regained energy independence of his country thanks to oil and shale gas. And squarely offers Europe to source liquefied gas made in US. By the way, he launched another pike to all the forecasters who predicted global overpopulation in the 60s or the end of oil in the early 90s.
A world of opposites
Clearly, Donald Trump’s America opposes its development model to the rest of the world. His speech sparked reactions, notably from NGOs. Greenpeace executive director Jennifer Morgan said the US president “focused on trade and the economy,” an attitude that is “an anomaly in this climate emergency. He must have escaped the president that you can’t make money on a dead planet. “Donald Trump will have made one concession. He announced that the United States has joined the WEF initiative to plant one billion trees by 2030.
In the central hall of the WEF, all the screens deal with climate change. In the church square of Davos, young activists have just arrived and unfurl their banners, greeted by two elderly ladies who have prepared cookies and mulled wine for them. It’s all Davos. A world of opposites.
Created: 21.01.2020, 11:18 p.m.