Trump haters have been saying that America is losing its status as the leader of the free world. They say the president’s non-traditional diplomacy tactics will make it more difficult for the US to assert its policies and ideology prospectively. This is not an accurate depiction of America’s strength under the leadership of President Trump.
Trump’s aggressive style is not endearing the US to other nations. But it is enabling the US to transact changes in trade arrangements and several other areas.
Regarding trade, America is making great strides and is in the midst of important negotiations with several countries around the world. For years other nations have taken advantage of US generosity by assessing high tariffs on our exports. We have not retaliated by correspondingly increasing our tariffs on the imports from these same countries, until now.
It could be that over the years our government thought it wise to use tariff negotiations for diplomatic purposes. Most of the gains no longer exist, and the gratitude of old trading partners has waned.
Other nations have taken advantage of our attempt to encourage free trade, a misnomer in today’s world. Free trade, per se, means there are no barriers for imports or exports. Unfortunately roadblocks exist throughout the world, as other countries never hesitate to protect domestic industries. The US on the other hand does the least to protect home grown companies.
Exacerbating the situation is the theft of trade secrets and the unorthodox demands of China. Investment in the country almost always necessitates local ownership, disclosure of trade secrets and revealing information about proprietary products. At long last the federal government has protested these practices and is demanding they cease immediately.
The US is by far the most powerful military force in the world. Unfortunately military might is the only thing that despotic countries and terrorists seem to understand. This unholy situation has been a boon to ever increasing suicide bombings around the world. Only through harmful terror activities do certain organizations project their influence.
Because our security is far stronger than all other countries, even with our open borders, terrorism strikes more frequently elsewhere. Nevertheless, the US has had its fair share of tragedy, in particular the 9/11 attacks.
The US has been an exporter of armaments to many countries and local militia groups worldwide. Generally, but not always, these arms sales have included low tech weapons. Although it is somewhat counterintuitive to sell arms while simultaneously calling for peace, the US derives many benefits from this activity.
First of all, these sales bolster domestic arms manufacturers. The affiliated revenues are very significant if they are sold and not just handed over to others. But even more important is that the US can support fledgling efforts in certain places to overturn despotic and unfriendly regimes. For instance, the US regularly provides arms to freedom fighters in the Middle East and other places. It should be noted that, on occasion, weapons we sell to some groups are either used against us, or our allies, or sold to other groups that are hostile to the US. It’s a dirty business.
The most important contemporary “weapon of mass destruction” available to the federal government, aside from raw firepower, is the economic influence of the US. Our country can virtually bankrupt another nation by manipulating and limiting the use of our banking system. Sales cannot happen between our enemies if the cash can’t travel from buyer to seller. Additionally embargoes on countries like Iran and North Korea will ultimately aid in the redemption of evil leaders or their demise.
To his credit, Trump has effectively used the threat of power to drag uncooperative leaders towards peaceful arrangements. None have been consummated, but progress has been made.
North Korea will eventually accede to giving up their nuclear weapons so long as economic pressure is maintained. Similarly Iran is in dire straits economically because of embargoes that now have been attached to all of their oil sales. Without this source of revenues there will be domestic upheaval in Iran and a decline in nefarious activity in the Middle East.
China is in the midst of an industrial revolution that depends upon rapid and continuous economic growth. The US can hamper this with tariffs on Chinese exports to the US. China exports far more items to the US than what the US exports to China, so retaliation by China will not have a great effect on the US. By attaching large penalties to critical items, the US can actually increase unemployment in China.
The US has its issues. Entitlements and giveaways to too many people are creating massive financial problems. Nevertheless our economy is chugging along nicely and most people are working. Our country continues to wield great influence, which has not been used effectively by previous presidents.