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Trump At World Economic Forum: 'America Is Open For Business'

DAVOS, Switzerland (CBSNewYork) -- President Donald Trump addressed the World Economic Forum Friday in Davos, Switzerland Friday, delivering his anticipated speech before political and economic leaders.

"I'm here to deliver a simple message: There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and grow in the United States. America is open for business, and we are competitive once again," the president said.

"Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs and your investments to the United States," he continued. "This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensive regulatory reduction ever conceived." 

Some were anxious about the president's approach to trade and immigration, CBS2's Tony Aiello reported. The forum's executive director, Klaus Schwab, referenced that while introducing the president.

"Of course, I'm aware that your strong leadership is open to misconceptions and biased interpretations," he said.

Trump said that as president of the United States, he "will always put America first." But added that "America first does not mean America alone."

"When the United States grows, so does the world," he said.

The president talked global trade, promising to enforce trade laws to protect U.S. interests.

"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 said.

In the year since Trump became president, the stock market has soared. It's a frequent point of pride for the president, and it was again Friday.

"The stock market is smashing one record after another and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election," he said.

The president also touted record-low unemployment among African Americans, along with new GDP numbers hitting 2.6 percent in the final quarter of last year.

"I think I've been a cheerleader for our country," he said.

Trump was subdued but still ever the salesman, while at the same time putting the world on notice about fair trade, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported.

"We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others," he said.

The president received a warm welcome and was asked afterwards what he thought was the most important quality he brought to the job.

"Being a businessman has been a great experience for me, I've loved it. I always loved business," he said. "As a businessman, I was always treated really well by the press… It wasn't until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean and how fake the press can be."

He did add that it couldn't have been that bad, because, after all, he did become president.

Trump also said tax reform was "a dream of a lot of people over many years but they weren't able to get it done."

"Ours is cutting and reforming. We emphasize cut, but the reform is probably almost as important," he said.

Meanwhile back here in the U.S., the New York Times reports Trump ordered the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. He reportedly backed off the order after a White House lawyer threatened to resign.

The president fired back Friday morning, calling the report "fake news."

Mueller is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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