US is going alone again

Unless we alter our course, this period of time will be remembered as when the US ceded its global leadership role. We are following a path of nativism and retrenchment. And, there is one thing for certain – we cannot shrink to greatness.

First, we drop out of an Asia/ Pacific trade partnership early in the Trump presidency. The remaining countries proceeded without the US and inked a deal at the end of last year. Why is this important? When approached to do a bilateral agreement, Japan told Trump to reenter the Asia/ Pacific agreement.

Second, last June we decided to leave the Paris Climate Change Accord, leaving an agreement with pretty much the rest of the world. Even ExxonMobil told us to stay in the accord. Fortunately, businesses, cities and states are picking up the dropped baton, but more is needed from our DC leaders.

Third, we do our darnedest to restrict immigration into our country from several countries and are actively seeking to expel both undocumented immigrants and children who came forward under DACA. What we fail to understand is immigration is accretive to our economy and this is a key part of our ideals.

Fourth, we have introduced tariffs on our allies and trading partners. Not only are we acting like a bully, we are acting unwisely, so say 1,140 economists including Nobel laureates and Presidential advisors. We could be precipitating a retrenchment of the global economy, of which we are a key part. The economists say this is how recessions start.

Fifth, by pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement, we are heightening global risk. But, we also have turned our back on our allies who asked us to work with them to stay in the agreement. With the reimposed sanctions any EU countries doing business with Iran will also be sanctioned. This will invite sanctions by the EU on the United States’ companies doing business there.

The President views the world in a transactional way which is why he prefers bilateral agreements. He must win the transaction. In multilateral agreements, everyone wins some and loses some. He also does not value diplomacy as we have retrenched in those capabilities. The hard work is done by these folks and China is lapping us in their diplomatic efforts.

We cannot go this alone. We should pay attention to the words of French President Emmanuel Macron when he spoke to the US Congress. He beseeched us to remain involved working with others.

 

25 thoughts on “US is going alone again

  1. Wise words, Keith. It is truly amazing how much damage Trump has done in just a year and a half.

    • John, agreed. Some of his supporters ask why does his lying matter? By itself, that is a foolish statement, but it matters when three things he based his decision about Iran on we’re factually untrue. He overstated the negatives of the TPP and perpetuates a climate change is a hoax lie as we pull out of Paris. I can disagree with policy positions if they have a foundation of fact based analysis, but I respect decisions less when they are modified to fit his narrative. Keith

      • He lives in a world of fantasy, Keith. He’s a laughing stock. So, he needs Senate support to make a treaty but not to end it?

      • John, I won’t argue with your first point. You would think your second point would be the case. Keith

    • Holly, if I were on a foreign leader, I would not trust a word he says. What is interesting is Macron vilified Trump’s policy positions to Congress, in essence, pleading with them to show leadership. There are too few leaders in DC, including the man in the White House. Keith

      • Our congress is shameful. I never knew so many grown men of such supposed intellect could be held hostage by greed and power, rather a group of mice begging handouts. We are embarrassed and shamed before the world stage by this man and his stooges. We are dealing with a mafia like siege of our white house. Each day brings new scandal and nothing is done, even women who he has shown such disrespect for have only this to say ” we forgive and will pray for him”.

      • Holly, Bill Maher repeated a bit of the ten traits of a dictator. With the desire to have a military parade which has been approved, Trump needs only one more of the ten – to wear a uniform. Your mafia reference is a good one. I was pleased to see our GOP Congressman lose yesterday, but he was defeated by a Freedom Caucus kind of candidate. Neither should be on Congress, in my view. Keith

      • The freedom caucus is not something we want running the country. I saw this morning Trump has tweeted about revoking the license of some news outlets. As far as I can tell he is green with envy that Putin is guaranteed to dictate Russia for many years and he hasn’t quite achieved that as yet.

      • Holly, as Jake Tapper said today Donald Trump defined fake news as news that he does not like. While Tapper has been accused of bias by Trump, he said his only bias is against lying. Keith

  2. He has now managed to completely remove any credibility this nation once had, to cause us to be disrespected and mistrusted by our allies. This, in my mind, constitutes treason as surely as any other action he could take. And still, his followers … follow. A very dark period in the history of this country.

    • Jill, if we make it difficult to work with us, countries will find other paths. Everything is interconnected. The French company Airbus works with US suppliers making 100 planes for Iran, so what happens now. My question to people who say the Iran deal is so terrible is “if it is so bad, why did seven countries sign it?” Keith

      • Good response! I shall borrow it next time … wish I’d thought of it last night when my blood was boiling over a Facebook argument I foolishly let myself be drawn into.

      • Jill, if you get drawn in to these frustrating conversations, asking questions like this will hopefully get them thinking. Keith

      • Agreed! Since I have a quick, snarky tongue, and do take umbrage at being called ‘stupid’, I should really avoid such conversations, but your responses are the better way. 😉

      • Jill, remember name callers don’t have much of an argument. An old colleague would diffuse such with “help me understand…” Keith

  3. This man is immensely complex, but it does seem clear that he acts in a vacuum: he is totally aware that this country is a part of a larger world, and he thinks in terms of what would benefit him rather than the rest of the world, or even this country. Ortega uses the phrase “hermetically sealed” against the world. This seems to describe this man. It’s disquieting, to say the least.

    • Hugh, agreed. As Macron summed up, he is leaving the Iran deal to appease a campaign promise not grounded in facts to an misinformed base. Yes, it is not perfect, so fix it as our allies have counseled. Keith

  4. The fellow is becoming quite predictable. Like some self-absorbed character out of a bad 1950s novel or play. He declares no one understands him, everything is wrong if he thinks it is and conducts acts of disruption and destruction under the fatuous notion that he is being ‘free’ and ‘honest’.

    • Roger, I cannot think of a better poster child for narcissism. Everyone is against him and only he can solve anything. I am a broken record on this, but his worst enemy stares back at him when he shaves. Keith

  5. Dear Keith,

    We are going down a dark path. Our country has always prospered when we acted magnanimously and generously as with the Marshall plan, when we welcomed immigration, increased / strengthened civil rights. When we act in opposition to these ideals which has made this country truly great, we pay a price.

    One of the major decisions that exacerbated the great depression was the American Economic Policy with Europe – As businesses began failing, the government created the Smoot-Hawley
    Tariff in 1930 to help protect American companies. This charged a high tax for imports thereby leading to less trade between America and foreign countries along with some economic retaliation. Does this sound familiar?

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, your example of the tariffs in 1930 were cited by the 1,140 economists who sent a letter to Congress forewarning them of their concern of the Trump tariffs. Keith

  6. Note to Readers: A retiring foreign correspondent for The Economist said on NPR today. America’s strength is not just its military might, it is its number of allies forged since WWII. These like minded countries who will stand with us are being frittered away by the US President each time he tweets or ignores them.

  7. Note to Readers: The following is an excerpt from an editorial Reuters today regarding the end of US-European ties:

    “Edward Luce in the Financial Times put it bluntly: ‘History may recall it as the day the U.S. abandoned its belief in allies… For the first time in decades, the U.S. is acting without a European partner.’ France’s Le Monde says that Trump is obsessed with undoing everything achieved by his predecessor and that Trump’s ‘absurd’ decision will have a ‘devastating effect’ on the Middle East.

    Franco Venturini in Italy’s Corriere della Sera wrote of a White House that has ‘opened a wound hard to heal.’ On Germany’s Deutsche Welle channel, security analyst Markus Kaim noted that German, French and British companies would be harmed by the sanctions as well.”

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