- The Washington Times - Friday, January 26, 2018

President Trump told the world’s top business leaders Friday that the U.S. is “open for business” on the strength of his corporate tax cuts and deregulation, and vowed that he will vigorously enforce fair trade laws.

“The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America,” Mr. Trump said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States. America is open for business and we are competitive once again.”

The surging U.S. economy has been the talk of the conference, with employers expanding and hiring in the wake of last month’s cut in the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent.

“As a result, millions of workers have received tax-cut bonuses from their employers,” he said, and Apple Inc. is repatriating about $245 billion in overseas profits.

He said regulation is “stealth taxation” by unelected bureaucrats.

“In America, those days are over,” the president said. “Come to America, where you can innovate, create and build.”

Addressing concerns of trade wars in the wake of new tariffs he imposed this week, Mr. Trump said his administration is only seeking fairness in trade deals.

“We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to the trading system,” the president said. “Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the United States but for all nations.”

The U.S. is renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, and Mr. Trump pulled out of the Obama-era Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other Pacific-rim nations.

The president said his view of fair trade doesn’t mean the U.S. will isolate itself or engage in protectionism.

“As president of the United States, I will always put America first,” he said. “Just like the leaders of other countries should put their countries first. But ‘America first’ does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world.”

The president even said he would consider negotiating trade deals with TPP countries individually “or perhaps as a group” if the terms are more fair to the U.S.

Referring to the contentious debate on immigration policy back in Washington, Mr. Trump said the U.S. is “securing our immigration system as a matter of both national and economic security.”

“America is a cutting-edge economy, but our immigration system is stuck in the past,” the president said. “We must replace our current system of extended family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country.”

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