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Trump tells Davos: 'The time for skepticism is over' as impeachment begins

President Donald J. Trump took a victory lap for the strength of the U.S. economy on Tuesday, telling the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that a “great American comeback” was under way as the U.S. Senate debates removing him from office.

“I told you we had launched the ‘Great American comeback.’ Today, I’m proud to declare the United States is in the midst of a great economic boom, the likes of which the world has never seen before,” Trump told a packed room of top business leaders, academics, and government officials.

The president spoke as lawmakers drew battle lines with an impeachment trial set to begin in the Senate. Only the third U.S. president in history to be formally impeached by Congress, Trump has rejected the abuse of power charges as “rigged” and is pushing for a swift acquittal.

Back in Davos, Trump declared that “despite all of the cynics, I had never been more confident in America’s future. I knew we were on the verge of a profound American economic resurgence.”

Amid a U.S. jobs market where unemployment sits at a 50-year low, he boasted that 7 million jobs had been added during his term, “a number unthinkable.”

He also characterized what he called “America’s stunning turnaround” as a “blue-collar boom.”

“The American dream is back — bigger, better, and stronger than ever before,” he said.

Trump also highlighted the “Phase One” deal both China and the U.S. agreed to just last week. He added that when the trade deals and massive deregulation kick in there’s “tremendous potential for the future.”

President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump delivers the opening remarks at the World Economic Forum, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Davos. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

He added: “The time for skepticism is over.”

However, the global economic confab begins under a cloud of uncertainty and pessimism about the world economy. A new PwC survey revealed that CEOs from across the globe are showing record levels of pessimism about the economy, with 53% expecting a decline in economic growth in 2020. The International Monetary Fund also slashed its own expectations for global growth.

The president asserted that China’s “predatory practices were undermining trade for everyone” and “no one did anything about it except to allow it to keep getting worse and worse and worse.”

Trump said phase two trade negotiations “are starting very shortly” and that “most tariffs will remain in place” for those talks.

He added that the U.S. relationship with China today has “never been better.” He said his relationship with Xi Jinping is “extraordinary” and that both men “love each other.”

Trump’s speech was the most anticipated session of the 50th World Economic Forum, with participants and the media lined up at early as 9 a.m. local time. Every seat in the Plenary Hall of the Congress Center was filled, leaving standing room and some overflow rooms only for attendees.

After Trump’s remarks, Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz told Yahoo Finance that “it is what you would expect from President Trump,” describing the speech as “out of touch with what is going on in the world.”

—Yahoo Finance’s Lulu Chiang and anchor Alexis Christoforous contributed to this report.

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