Home / U.S. / The Finance 202, Davos edition: the Trump administration is sending many people to Davos

The Finance 202, Davos edition: the Trump administration is sending many people to Davos


What does the Trump administration send? So many people to Davos?

The question worries Trump watchers of all kinds as the global elite gather in the alpine city to kick off their annual meeting on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum. If the closure of the US government? UU He does not stir the plans, eight cabinet figures and at least seven other senior officials are scheduled to make the trip – a strong contingent compared to those of his predecessors – and Trump himself is ready to end the conference with a speech on Friday, the first appearance there by a president since Bill Clinton in 2000.

Trump officers en route to Switzerland include: Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin leading the group, with appearances by the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Secretary of Energy Rick Perry Secretary of National Security Kirstjen Nielsen Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta Commercial Representative of the United States Robert Lighthizer – together with the adviser principal Jared Kushne r, Thomas Bossert an important internal security and counterterrorism advisor, USAID Administrator Mark Green, and Commissioner of the FDA Scott Gottlieb .

More heavyweights are scheduled to make the trip with the president later this week (if Trump does): Chief of Staff John Kelly National Security Advisor HR McMaster a nd National Director of the Economic Council Gary Cohn . The administration will decide "day-to-day" if Trump and his cabinet make the trip, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Saturday (although conference founder Klaus Schwab , said he still waits for Trump to attend, for what it's worth)

In any other administration, the crowd would be the message: A large delegation signals an endorsement of the center-left momentum of the conference for a greater international commitment in trade, climate change, refugees and other pressing and cross-border concerns.

This administration is obviously different. When Trump undertook to defend the "forgotten men and women" in his inaugural speech a year ago, most interpreted it as a rejection of the globalist order personified by those who rub their swollen shoulders in Davos.

"It's confusing," says Vali Nasr, dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, about the size of the Trump mission. "Here you have a populist president who opposes everything that Davos represents It's not easy to understand why he's going in. Is it just perennial vanity because he's heard over the years that's where the billionaires spend Is it because there is a bigger economic, political and ideological message at stake? "

Nasr, who served as the principal adviser at the time in the USA. UU Ambassador Richard Holbrooke at the beginning of the Obama administration said that when the president refused to attend, "it was understood that he did not want to associate too much with the 1 percent."

In fact, there were complaints in Davos in 2013 about the apparent misery of the Obama delegation, although the forum coincided with the president's second inaugural celebration . The following year saw a relatively more robust group: Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew, Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy. In 2015, Vice President Joe Biden led a group that included Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell. And Biden returned in 2016, along with six cabinet secretaries, in the last year of the Obama era.

The plethora of Trump aides could be jarring in a week when their government can still be shut down (a Senate vote is scheduled just after publication), or else It is, it has barely escaped from a deep political hole. But the big question is whether the army of Trump Davos comes to promote the president's agenda "America Primero", or speak more diplomatically with a world community that still tries to deal with this administration.

"I'll take them on their word that they have something to say and they want to explain what the Trump administration is trying to do," says Tony Fratto, a former Treasury official in the Bush administration and a Davos veteran. "If that has been misunderstood, it is an opportunity to explain to people who have a high degree of interest in US policy and where the consequent problems will be addressed."

Complicating that mission: Officials making the trip disagree with each other on some defining problems. While Lighthizer and Ross, for example, have encouraged Trump's protectionist instincts, Cohn has tried to maintain the line for freer trade.

The former president of Goldman Sachs has the deepest experience in Davos among the Trump officers expected to go this year. In 2009 when the Wall Street banking titans marked their presence in the midst of the global financial crisis, Goldman sent Cohn as its main emissary . Then, he worried aloud about a populist reaction to the bailouts of the auto and banking industries. Eight years later, he joined an administration that endured that violent reaction to power.

"If they manage to find some points of convergence, they will show the word a unified front, which is the best we can hope for," says Monica de Bolle, a member of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "If they are not speaking with one voice, they will simply corroborate what most people outside the US think about the current administration: there is no strategy, because their views clash dramatically." [19659005] PROGRAMMING NOTE: I'm on my way to Davos to cover all the action this week, so The Finance 202 will be coming to your inboxes at 6 a. M. Switzerland Time (12 a.m. EST) today through Thursday and Friday morning after Trump's speech. If you attend, tell me what you are seeing and hearing, and send any questions, concerns and complaints (and, of course, notable sightings). Please send me an email to tory.newmyer@washpost.com. And if you are not subscribed to my newsletter, do it here.


No Drip: Davos Still Dominated by men despite some progress at the top, writes Danielle Paquette of The Post in a previous story. This time, all the co-chairs of the forum are women. They include Sharan Burrow General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, Belgium; Fabiola Gianotti Director General, European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Switzerland; Isabelle Kocher CEO, ENGIE, France; Christine Lagarde managing director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Washington D.C .; Ginni Rometty president, president and CEO of IBM Corporation, United States; Chetna Sinha founder and president of the Mann Deshi Foundation, India; and Erna Solberg Prime Minister of Norway.

But Danielle writes that "the gender transformation at the top of the conference does little to improve its overall relationship. Only 21 percent of the approximately 3,000 participants this year are women," he said. the forum. That represents a slight rebound from 20 percent in 2017, 18 percent in 2016 and 17 percent in 2015. It's a 9 percent increase in 2002 "

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