WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump will attend the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 23-26 accompanied by several members of his Cabinet, the White House announced Thursday.
Up to six Cabinet officials will travel to Switzerland in two weeks with the president, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross.
In addition, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen; Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be part of the US delegation.
Also included in the official delegation will be Chief of Staff John Kelly, National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, the president’s main economic adviser, Gary Cohn, and his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner.
The White House announced this week that certain members of the Cabinet will spend more time in Davos than Trump himself, and it is not expected that the president will make any other stops on his foreign trip.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump “welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders,” having said on Tuesday that he “looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers.”
Trump will take his protectionist message to a glitzy forum that traditionally has defended globalization and will become the second US president to attend the annual event, now in its 48th year, after Democrat Bill Clinton, who participated in the conference in 2000.
US presidents have not attended the Davos Forum to avoid the possibility that their being there with many of the world’s billionaires could harm their image, but former President Barack Obama sent his vice president, Joe Biden, and secretary of state, John Kerry, to the conference in his stead.
Trump, in attending the gathering, will be able to tout before the attendees recent solid US economic performance, with the country’s economy growing at an annualized rate of 3.2 percent in the third quarter of 2017 and unemployment at its lowest level since 2000.