There was nothing discreet about Donald Trump's arrival in Davos. He came with a veritable caravan of attendees and was instantly flocked by people wanting to get a glimpse of him.
"I have fulfilled a lot of what I’ve said and I’m only here a year, you know I think I have 4 years, maybe another 4 years."President of the United States
Observers won't have missed the irony of his appearance, however: he owes his presidency in part to his railing against international gatherings such as this.
In an interview with CNBC, he was keen to dispel the idea that he was pandering to the global elite. Instead, he said that his attendance was in the national interest.
"After I said that I was going (to Davos), there were massive stories about ‘the elite’ and ‘the globalists’ and the planes flying in and everything else. It’s not about that, it’s about coming to America, investing in money, creating jobs, companies coming in, we’re setting records every week, every day."
Globalisation versus America First
The American President is widely expected to use his much-anticipated closing speech at the World Economic Forum to champion his America First policy.
In the interview, he was less than positive about existing US trade deals:
"I would do [the Trans-Pacific Partnership] if we made a much better deal than we had. We had a horrible deal than we had. The deal was a horrible deal. NAFTA’s a horrible deal, we’re renegotiating it. I may terminate NAFTA I may not - we’ll see what happens."
As was perhaps to be expected, though, talk soon turned to his personal record:
"I have fulfilled a lot of what I’ve said and I’m only here a year, you know I think I have 4 years, maybe another 4 yours ok?"
Trump believes a strong American economy validates his nationalistic approach.
It remains to be seen how this will go down with France's Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Theresa May, and Germany's Angela Merkel, who have all argued that globalisation is the only way forward.
And if they may be hard to win over, he faces an even tougher crowd outside.