On Wednesday, President Donald Trump arrived at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland with controversial, if not unsurprising, plans to pitch his nationalist “America First” platform to the sprawling collection of global elites in attendance.
The sentiment, confirmed in a pre-departure tweet promising to “tell the world how great America is and is doing,” comes at a curious time for the American leader, who appears, at this moment, tone-deaf to his nation’s global image and reputation.
The president will be amongst nearly 70 heads of state in Davos, as well as hundreds of globalist-minded corporate scions, leading academics, trending celebrities and political leaders. Since 1971, the forum has served as a premier destination for the world’s elite, where panel discussions, keynote speeches and social events cover a spectrum of topics including the global economy, humanitarian crises, environmental concerns and artificial intelligence. While speeches from India’s Narendra Modi, Canada’s Justin Trudeau and UK Prime Minister Theresa May are planned, the anticipation is mounting around the event’s capstone event—a speech from Donald J. Trump.
Casting a pall over the forum—and the president’s presence—is the recently released annual WEF Global Risks Report. The report, which surveyed nearly 1,000 experts across governments, academia, NGO’s and the corporate world, forecasts several major risks for the year ahead, and reads like a thorny indictment against the platform and presidency of Donald Trump.
How Trump navigates the forum will go a long way in determining if his presidential aims, as well as America’s international reputation can be revived under his leadership. Certainly, the roadway is laden with landmines. Take for example the report’s predominate threat—the anticipated environmental dangers due to anthropogenic climate change.