Paulo Roberto de Almeida
ISSF Policy Series: “Inconsistent, Incoherent, and Unpredictable: U.S. Policies in East Asia under President Donald J. Trump”
America and the World—2017 and Beyond
Web and Production Editor: George Fujii
Trump has no positive economic agenda for Asia thus far. With his mercantilist message, Trump only isolated himself from a region that is increasingly dynamic, open and prosperous. Trump also hobbled his own message on trade, blaming past U.S. leaders rather than China for the bilateral deficit and praising some of Beijing’s exploitative economic policies.
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend—and maybe someday that will happen!
Trump appeared to be making an effort to be a good sport. He joined other leaders in donning the matching, culturally appropriate shirts that are slightly silly staples of Asian summitry: an electric-blue silk one at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam, and a white sheer embroidered one in Manila at the gathering of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
We all worked hard. But I think the fruits of our labor are going to be incredible. Whether it’s security of our nations, whether it’s security of the world, or whether it’s trade. And it’s going to really amount to a lot.
he never linked his call for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” with a call for cooperation among alliances and democratic friends. Such a vision marginalizes the shared values and interests of long-held alliances, as well as an ongoing effort to network American allies and friends together…
There is no so-called Trump’s grand strategy in Asia—neither a pivot to Asia nor a rebalancing strategy. One of the most defining aspects of Trump’s policy towards Thailand, and perhaps the Asia-Pacific, is an inevitable reaction to the so-called rise of China.
I’ll talk to Prime Minister Abe of Japan and others—great guy, friend of mine—and there will be a little smile on their face…And the smile is, “I can’t believe we’ve been able to take advantage of the United States for so long.” So those days are over.