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A capricious Donald Trump does not augur well for U.S. or the world
Photo: image.baidu.com
 
With Donald Trump in the driving seat, the United States is heading to sort of one-way and no-return unilateralism and isolationism, which is undermining the image and credibility of the United States, giving rise to uncertainties in any solutions to trade  disputes, climate change, nuclear proliferation or any other major challenges confronting with the contemporary world.
 
What is indisputable is the number one super power status of the United States or its economic and military might, what is controversial is the way that it acted like a God-almighty and treated all others as its subordinates or little buddies. 
 
The “America first” doctrine, embedded in the Trump administration’s security or foreign policy at large, might please or appease the American people, but it does sound selfish in its essence and did not foresee or envisage any win-win ambition or situation in regional or global affairs, and most probably the narrow-minded and one-sided policy would end up in a win-or-lose confrontation or at best in a zero-sum game with no side emerging victorious.
 
Barely 18 months into the presidency, Mr. Trump has elbowed or has been at odds with almost everybody on the world stage, now it was his turn to get elbowed around. At the just concluded Group Seven summit, Mr. Trump was besieged over his decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium from the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
 
In a most recent Trump-like move, Mr. Trump, all of a sudden, withdrew his support for the final communique of the Group Seven summit, and ordered his officials not to sign the joint statement on trade, Iran and climate changes on earth, to the astonishment of the fellow leaders of the most advanced economies and America’s closest allies.
 
The last-minute U-turn of Mr. Trump did infuriate his closest allies and drew unveiled criticism from Germany and France for “destroying trust and acting inconsistently”.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the outcome of the summit “depressing” but she pledged to talk to Mr. Trump again at the NATO summit later this year.
 
A senior economic advisor to Mr. Trump said the U.S. leader did this at the Group Seven summit to show his strength ahead of the June 12 summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore, a far-fetched reason which could hardly convince the world community that Mr. Trump would drop his capriciousness in Singapore.
 
Mr. Trump did say he would not hesitate to walk away from the Singapore summit with Kim if it went sour, and he also said he was willing to invite Kim to visit the White House if the summit goes well.
 
The world needs a stable Korean peninsula, the world needs a stable U.S. president too, given the complicated nature of the problem there, including the denuclearization, peace and stability as well as security concerns of neighbouring countries.  The United States is apparently a key player on the issue.
 
Nobody can be sure as to how long Mr. Trump could stick to a same idea or how soon he would drop the idea for another.
 
The world community has good reasons to keep a suspicious eye on the United States under Mr. Trump, which has been treating its promises, even the international treaties it had inked, as a worn shirt that can be discarded any time. 
 
Last month, the US withdrew from the landmark Iran nuclear deal as Mr. Trump has pulled out from one multilateral treaty after another since assuming office in January 2017. 
 
He was renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and has threatened to drop it if not to his satisfaction. Last year, the U.S.  withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and the 2015 Paris climate pact. The U.S. has also pulled out of the Paris-based UNESCO.
 
Mr. Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from its closed allies have brought the two sides to the brink of a trade war, and the administration also threatened to slap tariffs on products from other countries, including China.
 
The apparent unilateralism and protectionism by the Trump administration could only lead to further isolation of the United States and gradual losses of its credibility, and would only culminate in new rivalries and disputes and could not wipe out the old ones.
 
All disputes were to be solved under the “America first” slogan is only a wishful thinking of the Trump administration, and could only meet with backlashes from its partners, friends and rivals. 

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