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Trump cancels trip to Davos over government shutdown

Published on January 17, 2019

US President Donald Trump has cancelled his planned trip to the annual general meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss resort of Davos amid the ongoing partial shutdown of the US government.

It was unclear whether the partial government shutdown, now in its 20th day, would end before the start of the global economic meeting, which is scheduled for January 22-25, as Trump and congressional Democrats dug into a fight over funding for the government and Trump’s long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border.

Earlier in the day the president had told reporters: “I intended to go and speak in front of the world financial community in Davos. That’s still on. But if the shutdown continues … I won’t go. I had planned to go, it’s been very successful when I went. We have a great story to tell.” 

The cancellation quashes any opportunity for Trump to meet other world leaders and discuss economic issues, including trade.

Swiss Finance Minister Ueli Maurer, who also holds the Swiss presidency this year, had been due to meet Trump in Davos and had hoped to to kick-start negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other Cabinet members are still scheduled to attend the annual event, which attracts business and political elite.