WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump cancelled on Thursday his participation at the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland due to the US political crisis caused by the partial shutdown of the federal government.
“Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum,” said Trump on Twitter, adding “My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!”
Trump’s suspension of his trip comes on the 20th day of the partial government shutdown resulting from his insistence that Congress approve $5.7 billion in funding to build portions of a wall along the US-Mexico border and the resolute opposition to this plan by Democrats, who control the House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, the president traveled on Thursday to the Texas border with Mexico to reiterate the need for the border wall in the face of the “humanitarian crisis” he claims exists there.
The inability of congressional Democrats and Republicans to reach agreement on including funds in the federal budget for Trump’s much-touted wall has resulted in the paralysis of about 25 percent of the federal government due to lack of funding.
In addition to assorted departments and agencies that have halted or severely curtailed their activities due to the lack of funding, some 380,000 federal workers have been fully idled although 420,000 so-called “essential” employees have continued working without receiving paychecks.
Trump attended the exclusive global economic forum at Davos last year, where he defended his policy of “America first.”
The White House had announced that Trump would be accompanied to Switzerland by a significant portion of his Cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with his daughter and close adviser Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, who is also one of Trump’s closest advisers.
It remains to be announced what portion of the US delegation will still be traveling to Davos for the conclave.
The World Economic Forum is to be held in Davos from Jan. 22-25 with this year’s central theme to be globalization in the era of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” which is characterized by phenomena such as artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and the rise of the robotics industry.