The foreign policy of America under Trump

saddam hussain samo
The writer is a columnist and independent researcher. He can be reached at

The foreign policy of America under trump is the diversion of the US from the World Order established by it after the end of Cold War. The World Order is based on capitalism (free markets), collective security and democracy among others. It is irony of fate that the main culprit behind fracturing the Order is not China, but the US itself. The situation reminds me about the ottoman empire of Turkey. Almost all the Muslim around the world, including Indian subcontinent, came forward to save the caliph from the actions of Allied forces after the First World War. However, the own national hero of Turkey, Kamal Ataturk, abolished the seat of caliphate. The foreign policy America under Trump can be categorized as follows:

From Multilateral to Bilateral agreements:

Trump wants bilateral instead of multilateral agreements with the countries. He believes that the interest of a country is best served in the bilateral agreements. During his election campaigns, he promised to revamp North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) because he considered it to be a disaster for the US. He also threatened to completely withdraw from the NAFTA and sign separate deals with Mexico and Canada, if they do not agree on the revision of some provisions of the NAFTA. Very recently, in January 2020, after years of tough negotiation and blackmailing Mexico and Canada, Trump signed revised agreements to safeguard the economic interest of the US affecting free market. Now, the trade deal is called United States-Mexico-Canada agreement. The US threatened Canada to leave it completely out of the deal, if it would not accept the provisions of the new deal.

Multilateral trade deals are to steal American jobs

Donald Trump

From Global leadership to America first:

Trump dislikes the responsibility of global leadership. He has raised the slogan of “America First” for this reason. According to this slogan, interest of America will be given preference over the interest of the globe.  At several occasions, he said that Washington does not want to play the role of “policeman” in the region. According to him, global leadership is a source of trouble instead of benefit for the US. It is, therefore, he is withdrawing from international conflicts to set his own country in order first. Thus, he is giving up the responsibility of the global leadership.

From conflicts to diplomacy:

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan said, “What I like about Trump is that he does not believe in war.” Ever since coming into the power, he has not initiated a fresh war. Although, Iran, recently, challenged the writ of super power by launching missiles on its military bases, yet Trump swallowed the embracement and did not wage the war. He also started a fresh negotiation with North Korea to solve the differences.  Undoubtedly, he has followed some harsh policies against his opponent like trade war with China and stringent economic sanctions against Iran. However, he has avoided drifting the US into a direct conflict with its enemies.

Negotiation and Diplomacy is preferred over conflict and hostility

Donald Trump

From free trade to trade war:

Trump has waged a trade war with China to save its home industries. Already, the American has lost 40 per cent of their jobs in manufacturing sector owing to surge in cheap import from China. The trade between China and the US has grown from $6 billion in 1986 to a whopping $586 billion now with America facing the trade deficit. Trump has imposed 25 per cent tariff on imported steel and 10 per cent on imported aluminum. Besides, he has imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese washing machines and solar panels. Moreover, he imposed 25 per cent tariff on $200 billion worth of Chines import in 2018. In 2019, he decided to raise the tariff from 25 to 30 per cent.  Apart from China, he withdrew from trans-pacific partnership, which was the major trade deal of the US. He has also expressed his desire to withdraw from the World Trade Organisation. Thus, the policy of the Trump is a complete diversion from the World Order established by the US based on free markets.

Bad trade deals are to blame for lost jobs and trade deficit

Donald Trump

From Collective Security to own safety:

Trump has asked the NATO allies to pay more for their defense citing that the US has not taken the responsibility to protect them. At present, the US accounts for 73 per cent of the total defense expenditure of the NATO.  He was able to collect around $100 billion from them after the blackmailing. However, it seems from the attitude of Trump that the security coalition will not last longer now because the confidence of the allies in the US as their sole protector will be eroded in the long run.


These above mentioned are those policies of Trump that collide with the World Order established by the US after defeating Soviet. Obama urged his successor to continue protecting the Order because the wealth and prestige of the US depend on it. However, Trump took the opposite approach. Hence, the leadership of Trump is a source of irritation for the liberal authors who criticize his policies in their writing. According to them, Trump should protect the Word Order, but he does not care for them.



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