A great deal of time at Davos has so far been spent watching in awe at China’s relentless upwardly mobile progress. But the collective gaze will shift westwards today with just a few hours to go before Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States.
Not many Davos delegates will be viewing the inauguration with positive thoughts, but there was at least one voice who defended the much maligned billionaire. Anthony Scaramucci, one of Trump’s top advisors, tried to persuade delegates that they would be pleasantly surprised by his boss.
“If some of you guys are getting a little bit upset by the tweeting and some of the things he is saying, I want to put your minds at ease,” he said. “This is a super-compassionate man, he is a generous man. He loves people.”
The “genius” of Trump is his ability to talk directly to the common person, he added. Many of these comments are simply being misinterpreted. “It’s setting off alarm bells and people lighting matches to their own hair matches and setting their own hair on fire, and they’re running around in rooms all crazy – and they really don’t need to do that.”
“President Trump could be one of the last great hopes for globalization because he is focused on something that we have to fix internally in the United States in order to create more burgeoning markets.”
That “something” is recalibrating international trade deals that are “asymmetrically” stacked against the US, Scaramucci explained. Now it is up to the likes of China to agree to create a more level playing field.
“If China really believes in globalisation then they have to now reach towards us and allow us to create symmetry,” he said.
That message will be following Chinese President Xi Jinping as he travels home from Davos.