World Economic Forum in Davos 2018 Kevin McCarthy, Kirstjen Nielsen, Elaine Chao, Gerard Baker On American First

At the World Economic Forum in Davos 2018, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, DHS Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen, and Transportation Sec. Elaine Chao speak at a forum hosted by Wall Street Journal’s Gerard Baker. Jan 24, 2018

“It is quite a compliment to Davos that the president is coming,” Chaos said. “Stay tuned, and listen.”

McCarthy added: “You’ve got to understand what does ‘America First’ mean. We wanted to focus on the economics of America, we want the citizens to be safe at home and abroad… What is interesting is the number of countries now talking about their tax systems. With doing something as big as the tax change, the economic America rising helps the rest of the world. It also helps from a safety perspective around the world. I think you’ll hear about that, but also the future plans for infrastructure, for building greater relationships with other countries, and Davos is a great place for that to happen.”

“We’re all here to make it clear that ‘America First’ is not America alone,” Sec. Nielsen added. “We’re here to partner… We need those partnerships.”

McCarthy explains why ‘America First’ is not protectionist: “Where was the first time you heard Make America Great Again? President Ronald Reagan. Think about what the world looked like after Reagan was President of the United States. Secondly, it is only right to modernize the NAFTA agreement. The NAFTA agreement was created before computers — before technology. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating.”

“Look at what just happened with solar panels, and you tell me if this is protectionism or fair trade: So, the film that goes over the top of a solar panel is made by DOW chemical… China does not allow them to sell it. Who subsidize solar panels and sells them into America. Is it right and fair to have a president who stands up and says, ‘Wait a minute, if we want to have trade, let’s make it fair. If you deny an American company from even selling a product, that is not protectionism. That is creating more jobs. And then when you look to immigration. We have one of the most liberal forms of immigration because we assimilate, we love the process. But there is not one person who is going to tell you it is going well. If you look within chain migration, if you want to bring a brother or sister, it is a 30-year wait. So why don’t we create a system that works? Why don’t we create a system that works, as the president talks about, on merit? Doesn’t that really go to breaking the barriers down?”

“The world should take a step back and say, maybe you disagree with a word he says or something, but what are the results,” McCarthy said. “Would North Korea be talking to South Korea? Is that America First, or is that making the rest of the world safe?”

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