So the key line from Donald Trump's Davos speech appeared to be 'America first is not America alone'.

And with that a lot of people seemed to go nuts. A lot of people seemed to think this was a shift, a change, a movement towards the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

He said in an interview that he'd be happy to do the TPP if he could get a better deal. This wasn't news. And this in part is the problem with modern news gathering these days, too many reporters are like goldfish. They circle their bowl, forget what's happened five minutes ago and think everything is new.

Trump, if you were judging him with any level of neutrality, has been consistent on trade from the moment he became a candidate. His overriding view is trade is good, but America has been ripped off.

The deals done are bad ones - and his words in Davos are simply a continuation of what he's been saying for at least three years in the political arena.

Which doesn't of course mean anything is going to change. It probably won't. Trump's view is not all that hard to understand.

He sees America as a country the world needs - not a country that needs the world.

And as such he's the one pulling the strings and dictating the terms.


We, for example, are exactly the opposite - we live and die on free trade deals. Fortunately we're good at what we do.

But there is no question we need the world badly and if it wasn't for global markets and fair access we'd be a third world back water.

So what we're really dealing with here as regards Trump is the gap between what we have in terms of the TPP - a deal Trump says is as bad as the Iran deal - and what he'd be prepared to live with.

And that fundamentally is why not a lot is going to change. In too many areas of open competition America simply can't cope.

Especially in areas like agriculture, where we are as sharp as it gets, and your average American farmer would die without subsidy and the multi-billion dollar lobby industry.

Basically Trump does deals - but they're tough deals - and they're deal that he might well describe as being good for America but they're not, by in large, deals many others can live with.

Slapping tariffs on Asian imports as he did before he went to Davos is not the way of the future. And in that sense Trump is on the wrong side of history.

But remember what drives the rhetoric is not just his belief that America, given its global importance, should have all the power but the politics of it. His backers believe it too.

There are votes in the stance he takes.

Will America eventually join the TPP? Probably - but it won't be under this president.

'America first is not America alone' is actually 'America alone' in all reality.
Just don't keep reporting it as new - he might be hard to deal with but at least he's consistent.