Washington: President Donald Trump has cancelled the US delegation’s trip to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos, Switzerland, due to the partial government shutdown.
The announcement comes as the shutdown entered its 27th day on Thursday. Last week, Trump cancelled his planned trip to the WEF meeting, citing the “intransigence” of the Democrats on his funding request to build a controversial wall along the US-Mexico border. The five-day summit is slated to begin at the Swiss resort town of Davos from January 21.
“Out of consideration for the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay and to ensure his team can assist as needed, President Trump has canceled his delegation’s trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement on Thursday.
The cancellation of the US delegation visit to the WEF meeting came on a day Trump postponed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan, citing the shutdown.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was due to lead the five-member presidential delegation to Davos which also included Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
The other members of the presidential delegation to Davos are United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell.
The longest-ever shutdown in US history has rendered over 800,000 federal employees without work, crippling the functioning of several key wings of the government including Security and State department.
The shutdown is a result of the bitter political divided over border security issue as the Democrats who now enjoy majority in the House have refused to approve a legislation approving USD 5.7 billion in federal funding to construct a wall across the US-Mexico border.
President Trump insists that building a wall is the only solution to protect the nation from a large flow of illegal immigrants and drug smuggling.
The Democrats are opposed to any such funding. After Trump walked out of a meeting at the White House last week, Democrats have refused to come to the negotiation table.
The ongoing shutdown on January 12 broke the previous record of 21 days of US government shutdown under the Bill Clinton administration in December 16, 1995 to January 5, 1996.