Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron championed globalization and censured Trump’s protectionism at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 23.
Justin Trudeau made use of his keynote speech to announce that, in spite of U.S. withdrawal from NAFTA, “Canada and the ten other remaining members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership concluded discussions… on a new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership.” He continued to subtly pressure Trump on the renegotiation of NAFTA by vouching for the treaty’s many merits when it comes to meeting “objectives of creating and sustaining growth, prosperity and well-paying middle-class jobs.”
In a similar manner, Angela Merkel asserted her belief in the benefits of global integration and her conviction that “protectionism is not the proper answer.” At that point, President Trump had not yet arrived in Davos, but Merkel’s remarks clearly targeted Trump’s America First policy. “We know that shutting yourselves off doesn’t help to protect your borders. You need good cooperation with your neighbors; you need good agreements, valid agreements that are respected; international treaties that are respected by each and everyone,” said Merkel.
President Donald Trump arrived in Davos on January 29. Although American presidents traditionally do not attend the Forum, President Trump gave the closing keynote address.