U.S. President Donald Trump waves to the audience following a special address on the closing day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. (Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg)

Trump to Return to Davos in January, White House Says

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump is returning to Davos, taking his anti-globalization, pro-tariff agenda back for a second year to the January gathering of the global financial and economic elite.

Several administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, will accompany Trump to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, the White House said Tuesday in a statement.

The list includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, U.S. Trade Secretary Robert Lighthizer and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, among others.

Trump returns after a year in which he has continued to steer the U.S. in a more insular direction, waging a trade conflict with China and threatening to shut down the government if Congress declines to fund the construction of a wall on the nation’s southern border.

Trump hailed his last trip to Davos as a success after bankers, investors, academics and corporate executives snaked through the conference center in the hours before his keynote speech. At a private meeting with corporate leaders, many sought to ingratiate themselves by praising his tax cuts and anti-regulation push.

While he drew boos for an unscripted aside in his 2018 speech about the “vicious” and “fake” press, Trump made a sales pitch for the U.S., arguing “now is is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States.”

In Davos, there’s the potential for the president to cross paths with some of his highest-profile foils. Last year, billionaire investor George Soros -- a bogeyman for the far right because he finances many liberal causes -- told a Davos audience that the U.S. president was a “danger to the world.”

Trump was the first sitting U.S. president to attend the Davos summit since Bill Clinton in January 2000.

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