President Donald Trump has called off his upcoming trip to the annual World Economic Forum which is set to take place in Davos, Switzerland, January 22-25, 2019. The announcement was made by the president on Thursday afternoon via Twitter.
According to a report by Fox News, the president cited the ongoing government shutdown as the reason for canceling his trip.
"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. My warmest regards and apologies to the @wef!" President Trump tweeted.
Earlier on Thursday, Trump administration announced that even if the government shutdown continued on the said dates of the conference, the U.S. delegation will still be sent to the forum under the leadership of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, per Seymour Tribune.
On Thursday, President Trump also told reporters that his plan to go to Davos is still on but if the shutdown continued, he would call it off. Regarding his planned trip, Trump said the following.
"We have a great story to tell [at the forum]. We have the best job numbers we've ever had, in many ways. Certainly with African-Americans, with Hispanic, with Asian-Americans. And overall, we have the best job numbers in at least 50 years. The economy is incredible. We're negotiating and having tremendous success with China."The president's decision to attend the forum was announced on December 18, 2018. Considering President Trump's "America First" policy, the move came as a surprise for many because the forum represents international collaboration. President Trump was the first president, who attended the forum in 2018, after Bill Clinton, who represented the United States at the forum in 2000. According to the White House, others who intended to join the U.S. delegation to Davos along with President Trump included Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer, and presidential adviser and daughter Ivanka Trump, and adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, among other top White House officials.
The annual gathering of the World Economic Forum, which was founded in 1971 as a not-for-profit organization, is attended by world leaders and top business executives. According to its website, the theme of this year's forum is "Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution." And the program this year will "aim to foster systems leadership and global stewardship while recognizing the actuality of a more complex, 'multiconceptual' world."