In early July 2017, President Donald Trump went on his second foreign trip, which included a stop at the G20 Summit in Hamburg.
In those hot summer months, most of the nation was scrambling to figure out what Trump aimed to do overseas and what he would be able to actually accomplish.
It is one year later, and as the President embarks on his trip to the NATO summit in Brussels this week, he is in a very different position than last summer. Now, it’s clear what he can “accomplish” at the international level.
Indeed, it is fair to say that the world is now seeing the very serious impact that this President is having on US relations with the world. President Trump loves to wreck things.
He must be a fan of Groucho Marx’s famous lyrics in the film “Horse Feathers,” “No matter what it is or who commenced it, I’m against it.” On the world stage, being “against it” seems to be his favorite mantra.
Preserving historic alliances? He’s against it. As promised, Trump has followed through to keep “America First,” but it has been to the country’s disadvantage globally. Despite hopes that some of his more seasoned advisors would push him away from this path, the President has managed to strain relations with a large number of key allies.
In rather shocking fashion, as the world’s attention was on June’s G7 summit, Trump took jabs on Twitter at Justin Trudeau — who has not been on anyone’s top 10 list of problems for US foreign policymakers — accusing the Canadian prime minister of taking advantage of America when it comes to trade.
The President has roiled some of our staunchest allies in Europe, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel who has been disappointed with the way that the President has backed away from strong support of NATO.
And, though they had a “bromance” for a few minutes during a state visit earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron has since made it clear just how frustrated he is with Trump’s continually aggressive stands toward countries whose national interests have traditionally aligned with the US.
As a result of his blistering words and policies, most recently with the separation of migrant children from their families at the US southern border, the President has reversed the improved standing that the US had achieved around the world under Obama.