Donald Trump to become first US president to attend elite Davos summit in nearly 20 years

Zeke Miller
Washington DC
Tuesday 09 January 2018 20:08 EST

President Donald Trump is set to bring his “America First” agenda to the elite global World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos later this month.

The White House confirmed that Mr Trump will attend the ritzy summit of political and business elites in the Alps town, whose name has become synonymous with the annual gathering of the rich and powerful.

The summit traditionally emphasises global interconnectedness and cooperation. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr Trump would be promoting his policies for strengthening American businesses, industries and workers.

The annual gathering is scheduled for 23 to 26 January, with the theme “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”

Mr Trump would be the first sitting US president to attend the summit in person since Bill Clinton in 2000. Then-Vice President Joe Biden attended last year.

Xi Jinping became the first Chinese president to attend the forum in 2017, when Mr Trump was represented by Anthony Scaramucci — a longtime attendee who later served a brief and explosive tenure as Trump's White House communications director. That year's gathering, which occurred around Mr Trump's inauguration, was viewed as a sign of China's ascendance at a time of growing American isolationism.

Ms Sanders rejected the notion that Trump's attendance symbolised he was backing away from his message of economic nationalism.

“The president's message is very much the same here as it will be there,” Ms Sanders said during her daily press briefing. “This is very much an 'America First' agenda. The president is still 100 per cent focused and committed to promoting policies that promote strength for American businesses and the American worker.”

Associated Press

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