Most Popular
1. THE INFLATION MONSTER is Forecasting RECESSION - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Why APPLE Could CRASH the Stock Market! - Nadeem_Walayat
3.The Stocks Stealth BEAR Market - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Inflation, Commodities and Interest Rates : Paradigm Shifts in Macrotrends - Rambus_Chartology
5.Stock Market in the Eye of the Storm, Visualising AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels - Nadeem_Walayat
6.AI Tech Stocks Earnings BloodBath Buying Opportunity - Nadeem_Walayat
7.PPT HALTS STOCK MARKET CRASH ahead of Fed May Interest Rate Hike Meeting - Nadeem_Walayat
8.50 Small Cap Growth Stocks Analysis to CAPITALISE on the Stock Market Inflation -Nadeem_Walayat
9.WE HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO INVEST IN STOCKS AND HOUSING MARKET - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Apple and Microsoft Nuts Are About to CRACK and Send Stock Market Sharply Lower - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Elliott Waves: Your "Rhyme & Reason" to Mainstream Stock Market Opinions - 6th Aug 22
COST OF LIVING CRISIS NIGHTMARE - Expect High INFLATION for whole of this DECADE! - 6th Aug 22
WHY PEAK INFLATION RED HERRING - 5th Aug 22
Recession Is Good for Gold, but a Crisis Would Be Even Better - 5th Aug 22
Stock Market Rallying On Slowly Thinning Air - 5th Aug 22
SILVER’S BAD BREAK - 5th Aug 22
Stock Market Trend Pattren 2022 Forecast Current State - 4th Aug 22
Should We Be Prepared For An Aggressive U.S. Fed In The Future? - 4th Aug 22
Will the S&P 500 Stock Market Index Go the Way of Meme Stocks? - 4th Aug 22
Stock Market Another Upswing Attempt - 4th Aug 22
What is our Real Economic and Financial Prognosis? - 4th Aug 22
The REAL Stocks Bear Market of 2022 - 3rd Aug 22
The ‘Wishful Thinking’ Fed Is Anything But ‘Neutral’ - 3rd Aug 22
Don’t Be Misled by Gold’s Recent Upswing - 3rd Aug 22
Aluminum, Copper, Zinc: The 3 Horsemen of the Upcoming "Econocalypse" - 31st July 22
Gold Stocks’ Rally Autumn 2022 - 31st July 22
US Fed Is Battling Excess Global Capital – Which Is Creating Inflation - 31st July 22
What it's like at a Stocks Bear Market Bottom - 29th July 22
How to lock in a Guaranteed 9.6% return from Uncle Sam With I Bonds - 29th July 22
All You Need to Know About the Increase in Building Insurance Premiums for Flats - 29th July 22
The Challenges on the Horizon for UK Landlords - 29th July 22
The Psychology of Investing in a Stocks Bear Market - 26th July 22
Claiming and Calculating The Research and Development Tax Credit - 26th July 22
Stock Market Bearish Test - 26th July 22
Social Media Tips and Writing an Effective Call to Action - 26th July 22
Has Rishi Sunak Succeeded in Buying His Way Into No 10 - Fake Tory Leadership Contest - 26th July 22
The Psychology of Investing in a Stocks Bear Market - 26th July 22
Claiming and Calculating The Research and Development Tax Credit - 26th July 22
Stock Market Bearish Test - 26th July 22
Social Media Tips and Writing an Effective Call to Action - 26th July 22
Has Rishi Sunak Succeeded in Buying His Way Into No 10 - Fake Tory Leadership Contest - 26th July 22

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Real Reason Trump Why Reversed His Stance On NATO, China, and Mexico

Politics / US Politics Apr 26, 2017 - 12:43 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

By Allison Fedirka Donald Trump has recently reversed his stance on a number of key foreign policy issues: NATO, Russia, China, and Mexico. From a geopolitical perspective, Trump’s remarks validated that limitations exist in the real world—even for the US president.

These limitations explain why he has backtracked on some of his key campaign promises.


An About-Face On NATO

Alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump made an unequivocal reversal on the organization when he stated, “I said it [NATO] was obsolete. It’s no longer obsolete.”

He preceded this comment with acknowledgement that NATO had adapted and now meets the US demand for the organization to aid in the fight against terrorism.

The comment most likely was aimed to justify to the public Trump’s reversal on NATO.

Trump’s prior rhetoric implying that the US was ready to abandon the group was not to be taken literally, but rather as simply campaign talk. It also served as a threat to European countries to send the message that Washington would value bilateral relations more than the larger group.

Once in office, leaving NATO was never truly an option.

However, the domestic and foreign demands that Trump faced—many of which still subscribe to the ideal of multilateralism and internationalism—forced him to recant this view and adopt a more moderate and cooperative stance.

The second clear reversal of opinion occurred when Trump said, “We’re not getting along with Russia at all. We may be at an all-time low in terms of a relationship with Russia.”

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Trump did not hold back in expressing his admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his desire to bring US-Russian relations to a cordial level.

However, the vision of Moscow and Washington becoming allies does not align with geopolitical realities. Russia seeks to expand its influence beyond its borders to create a buffer zone around core areas like Moscow and St. Petersburg. The westward expansion of Russian influence threatens Europe, which the US does not want to see dominated by Russia.

Washington needs to keep both Russia’s and Europe’s power in check, and an effective way of doing this involves allowing them to confront one another. Essentially, what is good for the US is the exact opposite of what is good for Russia. There is little to no middle ground for compromise.

Compromising On China And Mexico

Most important was Trump’s reversal on China. Trump not only revealed that the US would offer a good trade deal to China in exchange for help with North Korea, but also that he would not consider China a currency manipulator.

During his presidential campaign, Trump strongly criticized China for manipulating its currency and using other unfair trade practices that resulted in a large US trade deficit with China. He promised to rectify this imbalance once in office, but the realities he encountered prevent him from following through.

The escalation of North Korea’s potential threat to the US and its allies forced Trump to shift his stance on China. Concern is growing that Pyongyang may be closer to having the capability to adhere a nuclear warhead onto a medium-range missile.

Suddenly, the US could no longer ignore this threat. Enter China, the country that has steadily presented itself as a mediator that can keep North Korea in line.

As for Mexico, the changing position has had a lower profile. Its importance lies in what hasn’t happened. The US has not left NAFTA, and construction of Trump’s promised border wall is not even close to beginning.

Trump has downgraded his NAFTA rhetoric from leaving the association to revising the current agreement. The border wall has yet to get any congressional funding, and it already faces at least one lawsuit.

This shift can be largely attributed to large state economies that share a border with Mexico, specific economic sectors (especially farming) and special interest groups that depend on trade with Mexico.

Confronting Reality

The most vital takeaway is that, like any other president, he is succumbing to the constraints surrounding him. All presidents must adapt to reality after the campaign has ended.

Trump’s confrontation with reality and his reversals are more jarring than his predecessors’ due to the extreme positions he took during the campaign and the urgency with which he needs to regain support.

Trump is a weak president who lost the popular vote to his competitor but managed to win the White House thanks to the electoral college. He does not have control of or broad support from the party with which he was affiliated during the elections.

His approval rating, according to Gallup, is about 41 percent—among the lowest presidential approval ratings this soon after Inauguration Day.

Trump needs to gain support fast, and that requires extreme action. He won office by portraying himself as a radical isolationist, but such an extreme stance alienated him from centrist allies whose support is necessary for him to govern.

The sense of urgency comes from the fact that his shaky relationship with Congress cannot be completely lost and may still be salvageable.

So Trump has made moves to radically shift his position on some key issues hoping to gain centrist support, as outside constraints have made his prior statements no longer operative.

Watch George Friedman's Ground-breaking Documentary, Crisis & Chaos: Are We Moving Toward World War III?

Russian adventurism. An ailing EU. Devastation in the Middle East. These are just three symptoms of a systemic instability engulfing a region that’s home to 5 billion of the planet’s 7 billion people.

In this provocative documentary from Mauldin Economics and Geopolitical Futures, George Friedman uncovers the crises convulsing Europe, the Middle East, and Asia… and reveals the geopolitical chess moves that could trigger global conflict. Register to watch the documentary now.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in