Davos 2018: Americans to stage rally apologising for Trump ahead of President's visit to World Economic Forum

'We all felt an overwhelming desire to approach strangers and apologise' after Paris pull-out, says organiser

Jon Sharman
Thursday 18 January 2018 09:50
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach
US President Donald Trump speaks to reporters at Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach

Americans are to rally in Switzerland to apologise for Donald Trump‘s policies ahead of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos.

Action Together’s demonstration is set for Saturday and will also offer passers-by information on how they can “resist the Trump Administration’s efforts to undermine peace, human rights, and environmental justice around the world”.

Organiser Alexandra Dufresne told The Local: “Almost all the Americans I’ve spoken to abroad, after the election, after Trump pulled out of the Paris accord, we all felt an overwhelming desire to approach strangers and apologise,” she said.

“We were so ashamed and embarrassed and had such a big impulse to say, ‘We are so sorry’.

“Because he can hurt America but he can also hurt the rest of the world, and as we are a democracy we feel somewhat responsible for that.”

The rally is due to be held in Zurich’s Werdmühlplatz from 11am on 20 January.

Mr Trump’s view of world trade will be challenged next week when he visits Davos, judging by a paper seen by Reuters on Wednesday that is aimed squarely at his “America First” stance.

The “Strategic Brief on Misconceptions around Trade Balances” issued by the WEF’s network of trade experts, took issue with the Trump administration’s attitude to international commerce.

“A widely held view is that a country’s trade balance is a key measure of its international commercial success,” said co-authors Harvard professor Robert Lawrence and Princeton fellow Yeling Tan in the paper, which is due to be presented and debated at Davos.

“Currently, invoking this reasoning, the administration is seeking to reduce the trade deficit by renegotiating US trade agreements and adopting more protectionist US policies.”

Mr Trump has railed against the US trade deficit with China, hobbled the World Trade Organisation by blocking judicial appointments, pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks and antagonised Canada and Mexico by demanding a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Davos paper said Mr Trump’s administration believed “unfair” trade had led to large trade deficits and job losses, but policies based on such thinking could end up harming the people they aimed to help.

The authors said similar narratives had also emerged in other countries and regions but did not name them.

Additional reporting by agencies

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