During a gaggle at the White House on Thursday, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway confirmed that Trump planned to attend the annual gathering of political and business leaders. She noted he has a number of issues that he would like to address, including the stock market, the global economy and whether NATO members are meeting their defense spending obligations.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will be in attendance as well, on the heels of two major trade achievements – a signed phase one trade deal with China and the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement in the Senate.
Those agreements are likely to ease global economic uncertainty, which was particularly heightened by the 18-month- long standoff between the U.S. and China where both sides engaged in a tit-for-tat tariff escalation.
Meanwhile, Trump has long harped on NATO members to meet their 2-percent-of-GDP defense spending obligations. A host of wealthy countries – including France, Germany, Denmark and Canada -- are spending below that threshold. In 2019, the body estimated the U.S. spent more than $730 billion on defense – well above any other member country.
White House advisers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner are also expected to attend as part of President Trump’s delegation.
President Trump did not attend last year’s summit because of an ongoing, record-long partial U.S. government shutdown. At the time he was at odds with Democrats over funding for the border wall.
This year the forum begins on Jan. 20.
FOX Business’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.