The Latest: Kerry says US diplomatic deals hard to reverse

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Posted: Jan 17, 2017 11:15 AM
The Latest: Kerry says US diplomatic deals hard to reverse

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) — The Latest on the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says "I just don't believe" Donald Trump's administration will quickly reverse some of the Obama administration's diplomatic achievements.

Interviewed at his last World Economic Forum as America's top diplomat, Kerry told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman that he plans to stay "extremely active and involved" after he leaves office with President Barack Obama this week.

If the Trump administration tries to dismantle the Iran nuclear deal, for example, Kerry said, he would bet that other countries who helped strike the deal would keep it, leaving the United States "the odd-person out. We'll have injured our own credibility."

Offering a "message to my friends in Europe," Kerry said: "Europe's got to believe in itself."

Asked what he was most proud of during his tenure, Kerry joked: "Getting here alive."

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12:55 p.m.

The dollar's strength could lead to financial bailouts in emerging market economies and even an intervention to limit the currency's rise.

That's the view of David Rubenstein, co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, a leading private equity firm.

Addressing delegates at the World Economic Forum, Rubenstein said there's a risk of "potentially another Mexican-style crisis" in emerging markets because many firms that borrowed in dollars won't be able repay the loans if their earnings are in local currency while the dollar appreciates.

He says there's around $4.5 trillion in emerging market corporate debt that is dollar-denominated.

He said there may well have "to be some intervention" to rein in the dollar or "you're going to have to bail some of these countries out."

It would be "ironic," he added to guffaws in the audience, if Mexico had to be bailed out by the incoming Trump administration. The Mexican peso has been one of the biggest fallers against the dollar since Donald Trump's election.

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12:15 p.m.

Anthony Scaramucci, who is part of President-elect Donald Trump's transition team, says global elites have to get out of their comfort zones and listen to the people if they don't understand how Trump was elected or why Britain voted to leave the European Union.

At a panel at the World Economic Forum, financier Scaramucci said the richest top 3 percent of the world benefited from the massive stimulus measures enacted by global central banks since the financial crisis and are basically back to where they were in 2007. The remaining people, he said, are "struggling."

To those among the global elites who don't understand that post-crisis phenomenon, Scaramucci had a message: "Go to the prairie lands of the United States, or perhaps places in Great Britain or places in Europe. You know the places. Listen to the people. We have to as a collective group of people come up with the right policies."

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12:00 p.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is pressing his case for free trade, urging the world to "say no to protectionism" and warning that "no one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.

Xi made the comments Tuesday in an opening address to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Swizerland, in the first such visit ever by a Chinese head of state to the well-heeled gathering of business and political leaders.

Xi didn't directly mention U.S. president-elect Donald Trump but cast China as a standard-bearer of free trade amid concerns in some corners that the new U.S. administration may enact more protectionist measures in trade.

The leader of the globe's second-largest economy said the world must "remain committed to promoting free trade and investment through opening up" and said "pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room."

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11:25 a.m.

The chairman and CEO of Bank of America says major companies like his need clear rules before deciding how much business to maintain in Britain after it quits the European Union.

Brian Moynihan and other top bankers and executives gathered at the World Economic Forum in Davos are eagerly awaiting details about the U.K. exit plans from British Prime Minister Theresa May in a speech Tuesday.

Moynihan, speaking to The Associated Press, said Bank of America is working on "all kinds of scenarios" to possibly shift activities out of London after the so-called Brexit, but insisted "it's still not clear what that would do, or wouldn't do."

He said: "It's still premature to say what anybody's going to do until you have one set of rules. London will be an important part of our company no matter what happens with the British economy."

Noting a mass sense of "dislocation" in the British and U.S. electorate because of fast technological change, he said, "The No. 1 job for the leader of any enterprise, whether civil political or business, is to be responsive to the people they serve."

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11:00 a.m.

An adviser to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says he received no prior "talking points" to bring up at the World Economic Forum, rebutting concerns in some areas about possible U.S. isolationism ahead.

Anthony Scaramucci, a financier and veteran of the well-heeled annual gathering in Davos, said Trump had told him: "'Go and do a good job,' That's what he always says, actually, 'go do a good job.'"

Speaking Tuesday to The Associated Press on a golf-cart shuttle ride through snowy Alpine town, Scaramucci insisted that Trump will be engaged in foreign trade, but "free, fair trade ... he's not talking about isolationism."

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to later deliver the opening speech at Davos.

Asked whether he planned any meeting with the Chinese delegation, Scaramucci said: "We'll see."