Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn't think Davos gathering of elites is a 'hangout for globalists'

Key Points
  • Steven Mnuchin says the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is not a "hangout for globalists."
  • Trump will attend the meeting associated with wealthy elites later this month after winning the White House on a populist platform.
Treasury Secretary Mnuchin: I didn’t realize Davos was ‘the global elite’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin believes a forum in Switzerland that will feature wealthy business executives, world leaders and lawmakers discussing shared solutions to economic and social problems is not a "hangout for globalists."

"The American team will go over first and talk about the economic strategy," Mnuchin said Thursday of the World Economic Forum in Davos, which President Donald Trump and top economic advisors will attend later this month.

"We're thrilled the president is coming. What we know is that the economy that's good for the U.S. is good for the rest of the world," the Treasury secretary added.

This week, the White House said Trump would attend the event, which carries a reputation as a gathering of wealthy figures. American presidents have rarely attended, partly to avoid the perception of being too close to the elite circle that usually attends.

Trump won the White House on a populist platform that criticized what his campaign described as a class of entrenched politicians and business executives who do not look out for the interests of working people.

He railed against free trade deals that he said robbed Americans of their jobs, and pledged to always put "America first."

The theme of this year's forum is "Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World," according to its website. The meeting "aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world," it says.

On Thursday, Mnuchin said he expects a "consistent" message from Trump, pushing for "reciprocal" free trade. The president will "talk a lot about his economic program and the impact on the global economy," the secretary said.