Trump plans to attend World Economic Forum in Davos
Washington, Jan 10 (IANS) US President Donald Trump is expected to attend the World Economic Forum at Davos in Switzerland, in the coming weeks, an official has said.
In a statement on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said the President was looking forward to attending the gathering of world leaders and business executives, The New York Times reported.
“The President welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders,” Sanders said.
“At this year’s World Economic Forum, the President looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers.”
Trump’s planned appearance at an event that is synonymous with wealth and elite prestige comes as he enters the second year of a term he won on a message of economic populism.
Presidents have rarely attended the forum in Davos, in part out of a concern that it would send the wrong message to be rubbing shoulders with some of the world’s richest individuals.
Trump won the 2016 election in part by attacking elites in the United States and promising to “drain the swamp” in Washington of lobbyists, corporate influence and members of the establishment – the very description of those who regularly attend the Davos forum.
The event in Switzerland is a global symbol of everything that Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, railed against during the presidential campaign and the first seven months in the administration.
But Trump has also spent a lifetime as a real estate mogul and television personality.
Some of Trump’s advisers were befuddled by his planned trip, coming a year after his team decided not to send a representative to the 2017 gathering.
A year into his term, Trump’s appearance at the forum is certain to highlight the clash between his America First agenda and the more globalist approach of some of America’s closest allies around the world.
Those disagreements have been highlighted during Trump’s earlier trips abroad, including arguments with European leaders about the need for action to confront climate change.
Trump’s visit to Asia last year underscored his disagreements on trade issues with countries in the region.
The President has claimed credit for the economic improvements during his first year in office, and has predicted that the tax overhaul passed at the end of last year would accelerate those trends.
The annual economic forum takes place in the resort town of Davos high in the Swiss Alps, bringing together more than 3,000 members of the global elite in what has been described as the world’s most high-powered networking event.
Founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German economics professor, the forum has become an annual meeting that includes dinners and over 400 panel discussion sessions, largely about world social and economic trends. Officially, it is an academic conference; unofficially it is a global schmoozefest for the rich and powerful.
The conference is still dominated by corporate executives, but the gathering also now attracts world leaders, some of whom use the venue as a way to hold less formal bilateral conversations.