“From this day forward a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only ‘America First.'”
But while the president’s policy of always putting the United States first may sound good in theory, it turns out that it’s having incredibly serious and even dangerous consequences across the globe, where America is expected to lead and be a force for democratic values.
The Washington Post has sent reporters across the world to find out exactly how others see the U.S. since Trump, and what they found is not encouraging. Norbert Röttgen, a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel summed up the new United States posture this way:
“What he has achieved is a remarkable weakening of America’s moral standing. ‘America first’ has made America weaker in the world.”
Perhaps most troubling is the fact that other nations — some who relish a weaker United States — are rushing in to fill the void. And that could wind up having long-term consequences we cannot even imagine, according to a U.S. official who works on issues related to the Middle East:
“There’s a vacuum now. And you’re going to have some try to step in.”
The most likely nation to replace the United States on the world stage and become the new leader in economic and international policy? China.
At a recent meeting of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Buenos Aires, China called for more free trade and also began exercising its power with perennial American allies such as Pakistan, which the administration recently withdrew $2 billion in military aid from. According to the Post, China was only too happy to take advantage of the U.S.-Pakistan rift:
“China has gleefully stepped in to offer support. Among their actions, the Chinese have committed in recent years to a $62 billion infrastructure plan in the region. Pakistan has taken pains to differentiate between the two powers.”
Moving forward, the insistence of Trump on an “America first” policy will not only make the United States less secure, it also threatens to greatly increase the economic power of other world players such as China and Russia. So while Trump brags about being tough with both of those nations, he’s actually making them stronger by the day.
Featured Image Via U.S. Coast Guard.