President Trump promised on the campaign trail to reshape how America is perceived domestically and through foreign affairs. I’m not sure some thought that he would keep that promise in the way that seems to be happening.
On Sunday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a response to her time with President Trump at the G7 meeting. Trump challenged American allies from European nations about their NATO obligations and made it clear that he was willing to go it alone on climate change and trade. President Trump’s words with European leaders prompted Merkel to say this at a beer hall rally to support her campaign: “The times when we could completely rely on others are, to an extent, over.”
The president’s words and the response that Merkel gave reveal a significant change in foreign policy and our relationship with traditional allies. Some are now saying that Trump’s promise to “make America great again,” has less to do with what he will be able to accomplish domestically and more to do with how he is re-imaging America’s role in the world community. Most of Trump’s constituency believed that his famous slogan was focused on bringing back jobs, slaying political correctness, being tough on immigration and showing the media who is really in charge. But Trump’s most significant area of change will probably be international instead of domestic. There’s less involvement from a testy Congress and Senate in reshaping America’s involvement overseas. It’s just plain easier for a commander-in-chief to make an impact on American foreign policy than it is with domestic policy.
Trump has already pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He’s approved the Keystone pipeline. And now he is making a decision about whether or not he will commit to the Paris Climate Accords. All this being done in this administration’s first 150 days is certainly a signal that there is a possibility that the relationship America has had with our European allies since World War II is vastly changing. We may no longer be the financial foundation that secures many of the world’s democracies.
Richare Haass, the president of the Council of Foreign Relations, tweeted on Sunday, “Merkel saying Europe cannot rely on others & needs to take matters into its own hands is a watershed-& what US has sought to avoid since WW2.”
As President Trump speaks and acts on the world stage, other world leaders respond and react. This could be the most significant impact a Trump presidency has. What do you think about the way Trump handled the European leaders? What do you say about how Merkel has responded?
Credit: CNN Politics