US President Donald Trump will attend this year’s Davos economic forum, planned to be held from 23rd to 26th of January in the Swiss winter resort, the White House has confirmed. The decision comes as a surprise to many observers, as he missed last year’s gathering of the world economic elite and is a known critic of globalist policies that dominate in the forum.
Despite Trump’s absence last year, the annual gathering of world leaders and chief executives held in the Swiss Alps focused on what impact the newly elected Republican president would have on the global economy. The spotlight was moved to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who delivered an impactful opening speech, praising the good sides of globalization despite its’ shortcomings.
This year, Trump will discuss his “America First” agenda in person, said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
“At this year’s World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries, and American workers,” Sanders said in a statement.
The theme of this year’s Davos conference is to examine the causes of and solutions for political, economic and social fractures in society, Reuters writes.
Trump doing the unusual one more time
It is unusual for a US president to attend the Swiss retreat. Former Washington chief Ronald Reagan joined the Davos crowd several times, but only via video link.
The first sitting US president to appear in the Swiss resort was Bill Clinton in 2000, at the forum’s 30th-anniversary session. He has been a regular attendee in most years since. President George Bush, both father, and son, never came to the village in the Swiss mountains, and President Barack Obama also never appeared at the conference.
President Trump’s decision to go is perhaps particularly unexpected since he has made go-it-alone policies a hallmark of his administration, BBC writes.
Founded in Switzerland in 1971, the World Economic Forum promotes international trade, among other initiatives. Davos was once held up by the Trump campaign as an example of what was wrong with Hillary Clinton’s Democratic party. The working men and women in the world were “tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos”, Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon declared before the election, the Guardian reminds. Trump and Bannon haven’t been on good terms lately.
Among this year’s speakers are Trump’s chief economics adviser, Gary Cohn, former Democratic vice-president Joe Biden, former British prime minister Gordon Brown and Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg.