An excellent analysis-s usual-by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria making the argument that the policy approach of the Trump administration is in effect the the United States surrendering its leadership role to China. Some of the measures highlighted in this review include;
- The US slashing spending on soft power elements including budget of the US State Department (Diplomacy)& Foreign Aid (USAID) while China continues to increase spending in these areas
- Limiting US funding to the United Nations vs China approach of increased funding seeking to expand influence on the organisation
- The withdrawal of the United States from Trans Pacific Partnership agreement and the potential opening for China to become a member
- The US approach of increasing the budget for the Military while China focuses on economic/technological investment & soft power
So what seems to be happening-in my words-is that the United States is betting on it’s own economic growth and military power to maintain relative global influence. They forgot to link the good old saying; “It’s all about the economy stupid” with the fact that we live in a de facto Globalised world where economy/trade are intertwined more than ever and building bridges makes much more sense that erecting walls. So the entire policy model that helped energise Donald Trump’s political campaign at election season is one that is flawed/self defeating at best and it won’t be long before the jury is in. The tragic part in all of this is that the current US government is systematically destroying in days/weeks diplomatic/economic alliances that took decades to build and smashing the U.S. credibility in the process.