By Roger Caldwell
Trump and his team is systematically dismantling America’s role in the world. Huge trade agreements between the Europeans countries, China and Japan are being discussed and consummated at the 2017 G-20 Summit, and America is not engaged in the decision-making process.
“In just a couple months the new US administration has abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), criticized NAFTA, provided no clear signal of a desire to resume negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and raised the possibility of unilateral tariffs and a border-adjustment tax” says Stuart Eizenstat, opinion contributor –The Hill.
It is obvious that Trump and his team have initiated a major international clash with the majority nations in the G-20. As world leaders of the G-20 work together to support free trade, Trump and his administration is blaming US manufacturing job losses on free trade.
In 2016, America under President Obama, initiated a joint action agreement with 195 nations to combat climate change, and in 2017, Trump has decided to walk away from that agreement.
There is no way of predicting hour to hour what Trump and his team are going to support and do next. Weeks before the G-20 summit, there were reports that the Trump team had forgotten to book a hotel for the summit. The statement was true, and the White House had apparently waited too long before making reservations for Trump and his traveling staff for the summit.
This is not the first time this has happened because Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson had problems with accommodations earlier in the month. Many international leaders are asking why this keeps happening, but only nine key positions of 124 have been confirmed at the State Department. Although all the hotels were booked, Trump stayed at the official Senate guest house, and his staff stayed at the US Consulate General in the city.
Protests are a small part of the G-20 summit, but in Hamburg, Germany, there are thousands of demonstrators, and many have been violent. Posters denouncing Trump and the G-20 can be found in shop windows and hanging from balconies around the city.
“In a Pew survey of people in 37 countries around the world published at the end of June, the most popular terms used to describe Trump were arrogant, intolerant, and dangerous. On average only 22% of respondents expressed confidence in his ability to lead. Across Europe, the survey found some of his lowest ratings, especially among nations that have traditionally been staunch American allies” says Simon Shuster of the Time.
In May of this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a speech “the US is no longer a reliable partner, and Europeans now need to take our destiny into our own hands.”
”The US has lost the moral authority it enjoyed under Obama, a fact visible in the way Trump is treated at international gathering such as in Hamburg. Putin knows that in Trump, he is up against an opponent of shocking low caliber” says Jonathan Freedland – The Guardian.
While members of the G-20 are having important global discussions, Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, is taking over his seat as the US representative, and he has a two hour meeting with his new best friend, Vladimir Putin. At the meeting, there was only Trump and Putin, Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov and two note-takers.
At the post press conferences, Rex Tillerson and Sergey Lavrov have different versions of what transpired in the meeting. Tillerson said that Trump pressed Putin about meddling in the 2016 American election, and Lavrov said Trump believed Putin when he claimed he was not involved in sabotaging the election. Trump’s weakness is Putin’s strength and Trump is soft on Russia.
As the dust settles on the 2017 G-20, it will be important to find out what kind of decisions were agreed on between the other 18 nations. Under Trump, America will go forward, and he will continue to not trust the integrity of his intelligence community, but trust world criminals and authoritarian regimes such as Russia and its’ President, Vladimir Putin.