America Refuses to Play Nicely
Since the presidency of Donald Trump began, America has been rapidly pulling out of trade deals. No longer a leader in global trade, Trump’s “America First” policy is proving to be disastrous. Trump has pulled out of the TPP, threatened the longevity of NAFTA and cast trade negotiations in good faith to the wind. Cecilia Malmstrom, Europe’s trade commissioner says,
“America is shooting itself in the foot by withdrawing from global leadership on trade,” (Reuters).
Of course, in light of the 3 day government shutdown, it is not surprising America does not know how to play nicely. If they can’t keep their own house tidy, it is hardly expected for them to take leadership on the global stage. While Trump’s appearance was in doubt during the shutdown, he will take the journey to Davos. However, he comes with a slight stain on his reputation. After a humiliating 3 day showdown in government, Trump is not poised to make a strong stance on global affairs, presently. With the focus off the shutdown for now, it is time to turn to the World Economic Forum. It kicked off today in Switzerland, and America will be closely watched.
The EU is emerging from the fog of several economic crises. They are on the prowl for new trade partners. America should be intimidated, at the moment. Europe is showing that despite economic crises and Brexit, they are able and strong world leaders. What is especially worrying, however, is the Trump administration’s disastrous attitude to the World Trade Organization (WTO). It has blocked judges from being appointed to a WTO agency. This agency is responsible for ruling on global trade disputes. By stopping this, Trump’s government is endangering the existence of the WTO altogether.
In contrast, Xi Jinping, Chinese president delivered a well-timed speech accepting China’s role on the global stage. This was 3 days before the inauguration of Trump. Now, they come to a head this week.
A Few Seconds Left on the Clock
Jinping’s government has yet to act on his heroic speech of a year ago. If Trump can perhaps realize the need to keep American leadership in trade intact, he still has time. It all rests on his appearance later this week, in Davos.
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