Unfortunately, real life has gotten in the way of me writing this fall, but that’s about to change!
If you have read the first several blogs on this site, then you already know my feelings of a Donald Trump presidency as it pertains to US foreign policy and influence in the world. Judging by the campaign rhetoric, which is all we have to go on at this point, there is a great cause for concern regarding the US-led role in Euro and Asian-centric international trade and collective security. The “pivot” to Asia is at this point…dead. The Trans-pacific Partnership is effectively dead as well. These are significant blows to US influence around the globe. One of the most important aspects of American power has been its ability to create and shape international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Making other states play by OUR rules and within OUR frameworks is what made the US international input so important and useful, and this is severely eroding.
I am not saying the US is in decline. The facts just do not justify that argument. In 2013, 87 percent of the world’s economies used the US dollar as their reserve currency, and that’s up 2 percent from 2010. This fact alone shows that the US is still, and will continue to be, the most powerful country in the world. But this does not mean its foreign policy will maintain its effectiveness. In fact, I’d argue that it has already lost its effectiveness. China is beginning to fill the vacuum within the realms of foreign direct investment (FDI) and multilateral trade organizations. The US is losing its ability to influence as allies begin to say, “Nah, we are going with the Chinese instead…” (see Britain holding talks this week with China). Our partners are tired of the United States lying to them. We “tell” them that we share their interests when in fact we “act” in the exact opposite manner. It would be more practical to adopt a policy of honesty by telling allies such as Israel and Saudi Arabia that yes, our relationship is changing and our interests will not always align in the same ways they once did.
President-elect Trump should adopt the phrase, “pick it and stick it” as it pertains to his administration’s foreign policy strategy. Clarity and conciseness must prevail if we are to continue creating the international frameworks within economics and security. Trump may be wise to take a page out of Ian Bremmer’s latest book titled, Superpower. I would consider it a must read for an incoming US president.
Photo: Abc 7 Chicago