Trump to attend Davos economic forum: White House

St. John's church centre right sits surrounded by snow-covered residential buildings as night falls in Davos Switzerland on Jan. 18 2015

Donald Trump Plans to Attend World Davos Economic Forum

She added that Trump "looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries, and American workers". He has also reopened talks on the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

The White House's announcement on Tuesday that Trump would attend this year came as a surprise. The spotlight was moved to the Chinese President Xi Jinping, who delivered an impactful opening speech, praising the good sides of globalization despite its' shortcomings.

"The president welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders", Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The lone attendee from his coterie of advisers previous year was hedge fund manager Anthony Scaramucci, who later served briefly as Trump's communications director.

The annual conference, to be held January 23-26, has brought together worldwide leaders of nations, business and finance at the Alpine ski resort since 1971 to discuss global cooperation. He withdrew the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement between Pacific Rim countries, and pulled out of the Paris climate accord, a commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

Sitting presidents have rarely attended the event, held at a ski resort in the Swiss mountains, fearing its reputation for elitism may not play well politically at home.

The first sitting U.S. president to appear in Davos was Bill Clinton in 2000, at the forum's 30th anniversary session. Presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama never attended the meeting.

In an interview on Monday prior to the announcement, Harvard University professor Ken Rogoff identified Trump as a risk to the economic expansion.

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