In an interview with the London Times [subscription required], Donald Trump promised a quick trade deal with the UK, thus helping its Brexit transition. (British prime minister Theresa May and other Brexit supporters were delighted at the news.)
He also gave other indications of what his new foreign policy would be like: He said he supported NATO, though he considered it “obsolete,” saying only five NATO members are paying their dues. He also said he might suspend sanctions against Russia in exchange for a nuclear arms cut.
The EU is alarmed because it had been planning to punish the UK economically for pulling out of the union. Furthermore, if Trump is going to reward UK for breaking away from the European Union, will that encourage other member nations to do the same? Trump’s NATO talk also has Europe worried that they may have to go it alone militarily without the US.
If a free trade pact with the UK were to be extended to other countries that break away from the EU, that could create a new bloc of nations, dominated by the US. Or maybe Trump’s deal could be extended to other English-speaking countries, such as Canada and Australia. Throw in India, with its vast population and emerging wealth, as an alternative to China.
Whatever happens, Trump is going to remake American foreign policy, for better or worse (or some of both). [Read more…]