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Trump says "America is open for business" in address to World Economic Forum at Davos

Last Updated Jan 26, 2018 9:51 AM EST

President Trump highlighted his "America First" policy in an address Friday to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, capping off a two-day visit to the annual gathering.

"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America…There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the United States," he says, according to excerpts. "America is open for business and we are competitive once again."

He will says that he will always put America first, but he says, "America First does not mean America alone."

"We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to the trading system. Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the U.S. but for all nations," he says, adding that the U.S. will work on "mutually beneficial" trade agreements including with those countries that were members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). 

The president touted the U.S. economy, arguing that "after years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth." He highlighted the strong stock market, as well as high consumer confidence, manufacturing confidence and small business optimism. 

Mr. Trump said that all countries should contribute "their fair share" when it comes to common security. He said that the U.S. has united nations to try and "denuke" the Korean peninsula and he said he continues to call on nations to block Iran's path to a nuclear weapon. He added that he's "pleased to report" that the broad coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has "retaken almost 100 percent" of the territory the group held in Iraq and Syria. 

The president also highlighted the U.S. immigration system, which he said is "stuck in the past." This comes as Congress negotiates a legislative package to protect so-called "Dreamers" and to institute tougher border security measures. 

During a Q&A exchange after his speech, Mr. Trump was asked what experience in his past prepared him for the presidency. He said that he has been a great businessman and has always been great at making money. He also said that he has benefited from friendly press coverage as a businessman, but when he became president, he realized how "fake" the press can be. 

There had been plans among African business leaders to walk out of the room during Mr. Trump's speech, but no one walked out in the end. 

Mr. Trump had held bilateral meetings with British Prime Minister Theresa May and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. He also attended a reception and dinner. He heads back to Washington Friday, ahead of his first official State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night in which he is expected to discuss the economy.

In Davos, Mr. Trump has also apologized for the first time for retweeting a British far-right group's videos apparently showing Islamist violence, in an ITV interview aired in Britain on Friday.

"If you're telling me they're horrible racist people, I would certainly apologize if you'd like me to do that," he told Good Morning Britain's Piers Morgan during the interview, which took place Thursday.

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.