Trump cancels trip to Davos gathering as shutdown grinds on

US President Donald Trump talks to reporters before he departs for a visit to the US southern border area in Texas from the White House in Washington, US, on Jan 10, 2019.
US President Donald Trump talks to reporters before he departs for a visit to the US southern border area in Texas from the White House in Washington, US, on Jan 10, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - United States President Donald Trump said he would scrap his trip to the Davos annual gathering of global financial elites later this month because of the government shutdown.

"Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland," Mr Trump said in a tweet on Thursday (Jan 10).

The US delegation to the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Switzerland was to include Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and US Trade Secretary Robert Lighthizer, among other top administration officials.

Mr Mnuchin plans to attend the Davos conference with a smaller US delegation despite Mr Trump's decision not to go, according to two people familiar with the Treasury secretary's plans.

The partial US government shutdown is in its 20th day, with no sign of an agreement.

Mr Trump walked out of a White House meeting with congressional leaders on Wednesday, calling it a "waste of time".

The President wants Congress to approve US$5.7 billion (S$7.7 billion) to help fulfil a campaign promise to build a wall along the US-Mexico border that he insists is necessary to stem illegal migration.