The White House has insisted the ‘Special Relationship’ is as strong as ever and the UK is a “great ally” ahead of the anticipated bi-lateral meeting between Donald Trump and Theresa May at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, sought to play down recent frictions between the UK and US prompted in part by the President’s decision to pull out of a planned visit to Britain next month.
Asked to characterise the relationship between the two countries by the BBC’s Jon Sopel, he said: “Well of course the President is prioritising his meeting with Prime Minister May because we do have a special relationship.
“It’s a special relationship not just in words but it’s how we work together really on every issue.
“And so we have seen no diminishment, only growth of a relationship and cooperation with a great ally.”
Trump and May will likely discuss North Korea, the Syrian civil war and the Iran nuclear deal, which the White House has vowed to abandon unless changes can be made.
But a clue to just how special the Special Relationship actually is in a post-Brexit world was given on Monday when it was announced President Macron of France would be the recipient of the first state visit of Trump’s presidency.
Relations between Trump and May have been strained a number of times since the President took office, culminating earlier this month with Trump canceling a planned trip to open the new US embassy in London.
Planned protests are widely believed to have been a major factor in the decision although the President listed a number of other concerns, all of which are provably false.
Trump will have a full day of meetings in Davos on Thursday and then deliver a keynote address to the forum on Friday before returning to the United States later that day.
White House senior economic adviser Gary Cohn said Trump will use his speech to encourage global companies to invest in the United States and take advantage of Trump’s corporate tax cuts., reports Reuters.
He will also stress his “America First” policies and seek more reciprocal trade policies from US allies, Cohn said, in keeping with Trump’s belief that international trade deals are tilted against the United States.
“The president will continue to promote fair economic competition and will make it clear that there cannot be free and open trade if countries are not held accountable to the rules,” Cohn told reporters.
Trump will be the first U.S. president to attend Davos in 20 years, giving him a chance to mingle with the same elite “globalists” that he bashed in his 2016 presidential run.