The White House says President Donald Trump will attend this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, only the second time a U.S. president has attended the summit, and the first in 18 years.
Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Tuesday, "The president welcomes opportunities to advance his America First agenda with world leaders. At this year's World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries and American workers."
U.S. presidents tend to avoid the elite gathering rather than be seen as too close to the ultra-rich clientele the gathering attracts. President Bill Clinton was the first and last U.S. president to attend in person, in 2000. President Ronald Reagan addressed the forum via satellite.
The United States generally sends a high-profile delegation to the annual event. In the past, vice presidents Dick Cheney and Joe Biden have attended. Former vice president Al Gore, musician Bono, Brazilian writer Paulo Coehlo, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are regular attendees. Heads of state or government from Europe and Africa are often in attendance, as well.
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss nonprofit organization that says its mission is "improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas."
January's annual meeting in Davos is the most famous of the forum's gatherings, drawing some 2,500 people per year. But it also holds a number of regional meetings throughout the year to discuss economic issues and other problems faced by the world.
This year the forum will be held January 23-26.