Brazil’s Bolsonaro is the Face of Populism at the Davos Forum
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, who is dealing with the chaos over Britain’s exit from the European Union, and President Emmanuel Macron of France, who is facing a wave of unrest from “Yellow Vest” protesters, both skipped this year’s meeting.
Mr. Pompeo said that critics of the Trump administration were not ready to face the challenge of reforming international institutions like the United Nations. “But President Trump is,” he said.
Asked if the United States was isolated, Mr. Pompeo said, “I don’t think we’re remotely isolated.”
Still, the signposts of a changing world order were evident throughout the snow-covered streets of Davos. While Silicon Valley stalwarts like Facebook and Salesforce still put up gleaming pavilions to promote their presence, the biggest billboard belonged to Saudi Arabia, which took up the side of a hotel to encourage visitors to invest in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia’s own investor conference, known as Davos in the Desert, was hit by a wave of cancellations in October after intelligence reports linked the conference’s patron, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to the killing of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Along the streets were advertisements for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, President Vladimir V. Putin’s answer to Davos. Though few Chinese officials turned up here, the sessions devoted to China’s economy, like the Belt and Road Initiative, drew by far the largest audiences.
Although the United States kept a lower profile this year, it continued to cast a long shadow over the gathering. Economic analysts cited Mr. Trump’s trade war with China as a culprit for cutting their forecasts of global economic growth. And foreign policy analysts said Mr. Trump’s erratic style remained the greatest single source of risk in the world.
“If you are challenging the international system, you need something to put in its place,” said Karin von Hippel, a former State Department official who is director-general of the Royal United Services Institute in London. “There doesn’t seem to be a plan.”