America Alone: One Year After Trump’s Triumph


Photo: Matt Johnson/Flickr

15th November 2017

President Donald Trump marked the one-year anniversary of his improbable electoral victory in the middle of a 12-day Asia trip —curiously far from home for an “America First” President.
Even the trappings of a series of foreign State visits could not, however, hide the damage President Trump’s inward turning policies and politics are doing to vital U.S. economic and security interests on the global stage.
To date, the most visible cornerstones of President Trump’s America First agenda have been swinging toward protectionism; aiming to reduce the immigrant population in the United States; and turning America’s back to literally the entire world on the existential challenge of climate change.
All severely undermine U.S. influence and are rapidly yielding harmful America Alone outcomes.
Most glaring on Trump’s Asia tour were the effects of his withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Without it, the United States lacks a coherent vehicle to pursue its geopolitical and economic interests in the Asia Pacific. With President Xi Jinping’s recent power consolidation, the need to cabin China’s ambition has grown exponentially, yet, as demonstrated in Beijing and across Asia, the United States under President Trump has no answer to China’s assertiveness, opting instead for empty tough-talk and self-defeating policies.
On multiple Asia stops, for example, the President attempted, unsuccessfully, to bilaterally revive concessions that President Obama secured in the …

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