President Donald Trump extolled the economic achievements of his administration in a keynote address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tuesday, just hours ahead of an impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate that threatens to tarnish the legacy of his first term in office.
Trump boasted that the current U.S. economic boom, now in its eleventh year, was the "greatest the world has even seen", thanks in part to his efforts to address the "predatory practices of China" that he was able to thwart with aggressive trade reform. He also repeated his criticism of the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell, whom he once again accused of "raising rates too fast, and lowering them too slowly".
"Today I'm proud to declare the United States is in the midst of an economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before," Trump told a selected audience of political and business leaders at the 50th annual meeting of the World Economic forum in the Swiss Alpine village. "America is thriving. America is flourishing and yes, America is winning again like never before."
“Today I hold up the American model as an example to the world of a working system of free enterprise that will produce the most benefits for the most people in the twenty first century and beyond," the President said.
U.S. GDP has averaged 2.6% annualized GDP growth since Trump took office in 2017, Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Economics noted Tuesday, compared to a 50-year average of 2.8%.
The President said negotiations with China on a 'phase 2' trade agreement would begin shortly, but added that, despite the fact that relations between the world's two biggest economies have "never been better", tariffs on $250 billion in China-made goods will remain in place until a formal agreement is reached.
Senate lawmakers will begin their impeachment trial proceedings in Washington later today, after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell proposed rule changes that could both quicken the pace of proceedings and allow more of the chamber's deliberations to take place in private.
Trump was impeached by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last month after lawmakers deemed that he threatened to withhold funding to the Ukraine in exchange for a commitment from President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate the business ties between rival Presidential candidate Joe Biden's son, Hunter, and a Ukrainian energy company.