President To Attend World Economic Forum In Davos

AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

ZEKE MILLER and DARLENE SUPERVILLE,  ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is set to bring his "America First" agenda to a bastion of globalization when he attends the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos later this month.

The White House confirmed that 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 fabulously rich and particularly powerful.

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

The annual gathering is scheduled for Jan. 23-26, with the theme "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World."

Trump would be the first sitting U.S. 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 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 Trump's inauguration, was viewed as a sign of China's ascendance at a time of growing American isolationism.

The White House rejected the notion that the president's attendance symbolized 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," Sanders told reporters Tuesday. "This is very much an 'America First' agenda. The president is still 100 percent focused and committed to promoting policies that promote strength for American businesses and the American worker."

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