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Trump to attend World Economic Forum in Davos, after skipping it last time

Key Points
  • President Trump will reportedly attend the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
  • Trump skipped the annual meeting of elites last year.
  • Sustainability will be a focus of this year's conference. Trump, who has denied climate change, has rolled back environmental regulations and begun the country's withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement that aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
President Donald Trump looks on during a discussion after delivering his speech during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting on January 26, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. /
Fabrice Coffrini | AFP | Getty Images

After skipping a gathering of the world's most elite in Davos, Switzerland, last January, President Donald Trump will attend the World Economic Forum in 2020, Bloomberg reported Tuesday.

Trump blamed his no-show last time on the partial government shutdown that was triggered by a funding dispute over a proposed wall along the United States' southern border.

A spokesperson for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the president's plans to attend in 2020.

The 50th annual forum, held Jan. 21-24 will focus on "Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World." The 3,000 attendees, titans of industry and political leaders, will discuss furthering goals toward improving society, the economy and the environment, according to a recent release.

The executives, bankers and lawmakers in attendance "must develop a 'Davos Manifesto 2020' to reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and government," the conference's founder, professor Klaus Schwab, said in the release.

The event plans to be "among the most sustainable international summits ever held."

That focus will likely put a spotlight on Trump's own agenda of weakening environmental protections.

Trump, who has in the past denied climate change, has unraveled a number of regulations put in place by President Barack Obama, including commitments to limit methane emissions. The U.S. has filed paperwork to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, a global pact signed by the Obama administration in 2015 that promised significant cuts in U.S. greenhouse gas emission.

Tracking progress toward the Paris agreement will be one of the topics discussed at Davos, according to the release.

Meantime, while the Davos agenda will look to "create bridges to resolve conflicts in global hotspots," Trump has made jabs at a number of European allies. While he has said he was just joking about placing tariffs on cars imported from the European Union, he is still threatening to place tariffs on French specialties like champagne and cheese.

The Trump administration has blocked a number of appointments of new members to the World Trade Organization, effectively withering the power of the group set up to manage trade disputes.

Still, the White House has made headway in solving some of its recent trade disputes. The White House last week reached an agreement with House Democrats to move forward with its replacement of NAFTA, the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement.

It has also agreed to the terms of a "phase one" deal with China that canceled some pending tariffs and reduced others. The Chinese have agreed to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural and other goods as part of the deal.