Senior U.S. officials hit back on Wednesday against suggestions that President Donald Trump's "America First" agenda was hurting globalization and trade, setting an aggressive tone ahead of the U.S. president's visit to the World Economic Forum.
World leaders, including Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadas Justin Trudeau, and Brazilian President Michel Temer, raised concerns this week at the gathering in the Swiss ski resort of Davos about growing protectionism, in remarks that delegates said seemed aimed at Trumps policies.
Under his America First agenda, Trump has threatened to withdraw from the North American free-trade agreement (NAFTA), disavowed the global climate change accord and criticized global institutions including the United Nations and NATO.
Trump is expected to arrive by Thursday and deliver a keynote address to the forum on Friday, mingling with the same elite "globalists" that he bashed during his 2016 presidential run.
In a press briefing in Davos ahead of his visit, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross defended aggressive trade actions taken by the United States and said more were to come.