Editor’s Note: Gary D. Cohn serves as assistant to the President for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council. He was formerly president and chief operating officer of The Goldman Sachs Group. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
The World Economic Forum just concluded in Davos, Switzerland. As a longtime participant in the annual gathering, I know that some years are good, some years are great. And in some years, history is made.
At this year’s event, President Donald J. Trump shared with major business and political leaders from around the world his vision for and optimism in the American economy. They can once again look to the United States as one of the most competitive and lucrative places to invest in the world, because “America is open for business.”
Many people heard President Trump’s message that he will always put America first – just as all leaders must put their own citizens first.
Because he spent the last year putting America first, our economy is now resurgent. Massive tax cuts, deregulation, pro-growth energy policies and stronger trade practices are finally lifting the American economy out of a long period of stagnation. Growth is back, and millions of Americans are personally reaping the benefits.
For example, since we passed tax reform a little over a month ago, more than 255 companies (and counting) have announced significant new benefits – including bonuses, higher wages, and better retirement options – that benefit at least 3 million workers around the country.
When combined with America’s great workforce, commitment to innovation and strong rule of law, the opportunity to invest and grow here is unprecedented.
Investment in America does not just benefit the United States – it benefits the world. When our economy grows, it is good for the world. When the world economy grows, it is good for the United States.
Our pursuit of excellence, our creativity and our culture of innovation help drive change that improves lives around the world – and creates countless jobs on distant shores. Our belief in free markets and a level playing field are values that make the world more free, fair, and prosperous. Under President Trump’s leadership, we are trying to steer the world back to those principles.
But the responsibility for making the world safe and prosperous cannot be borne by America alone. While at the World Economic Forum, the United States called on world leaders and business titans to embrace this vision. The President personally asked all of them to do their part in advancing principles and economic policies that will unleash human potential, lifting populations and fostering peace and security for generations to come.
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He also talked about a world where all countries treat each other fairly and where hard work, ingenuity, and natural resources determine economic outcomes – not protectionist laws and policies distorting what should otherwise be market-driven results.
Since taking office, President Trump has taken the principles of his America First vision to many corners of the globe. If this year’s World Economic Forum participants truly heed the President’s call and work together, this year’s meeting will not only have been meaningful – it also will be a moment of truly positive change for our world.