The White House has confirmed that US President Donald Trump will be attending the World Economic Forum at Davos which will be taking place in January 2018.
He will be the first sitting US President to attend the event in two decades. During his campaign the President often rallied against the elites and those working in Wall Street.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is a Swiss nonprofit foundation. It is headquartered in Geneva. It is committed “to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas". It was founded in 1971 by Klaus Schwab.
The Forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, and journalists for up to four days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world. Often this location alone is used to identify meetings, participation, and participants with such phrases as, "a Davos panel" and "a Davos Man".
US President Donald Trump has an enigmatic relationship with the international community. A strong proponent of “America First” policy, he has been critical of free trade and international bodies in the past. He has pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and has threatened to nullify NAFTA as well. He has also been criticized for pulling out of the Paris Agreement, which has been ratified by 160 nations.
Additionally, his interactions with world leaders during international forums has also come under scrutiny. A video of him pushing aside the leader of Montenegro during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit went viral across social media and other platforms. He also openly criticized the leaders present during his speech. In 2017, the World Economic Forum was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May. The Forum has often been criticized for being elitist.
US President Donald Trump has in the past employed an increasingly populist rhetoric to court the voters from the working class in the United States. During his presidential campaign, he often rallied against executives in the Wall Street and spoke harshly against the so-called elites and the globalists. He accused former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton of being an elitist in line with Wall Street.
The White House has now confirmed that he will be attending the World Economic Forum at Davos which will be taking place in January 2018. This makes him the first sitting US President to attend the event in two decades.
JP Morgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon even criticized the elites who come to the Forum. In 2016 Dimon said, “They (the attendees at Davos) have always been wrong. I went there in 2007 and 2008 and they were wrong back then and then in 2009 they were completely panicked about the whole world.” He then added, “It is where billionaires tell millionaires what the middle class feels.”
The current Forum is expecting more 2,500 delegates to attend the event. UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron are also expected to attend. The first US President to attend the meeting was Bill Clinton in 2000. Ronald Reagan would often appear via videos for the Forum.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump would be promoting his policies for strengthening American businesses, industries and workers. "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."
Our assessment is that despite his positioning as a populist fighting for the working class of America, Trump has repeatedly introduced measures that go against his own set agenda. He has been criticized for the new tax overhaul that seeks to provide massive tax cuts to the ultra rich individuals and organizations. His attendance at the Forum which has become synonymous with elitism. Perhaps, the American billionaire at his heart will always be an elite himself. We feel that Trump may want to regain some space that the US has lost as the leader in the free world. He would also attempt to counter the Chinese Premier who announced himself as the advocate of the free trade in the last Davos Forum.