Trump poli­cies may yield op­po­site re­sults

China Daily - - VIEWS - The au­thor is a for­mer vice-pres­i­dent of China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions.

The Don­ald Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s de­ci­sion to with­draw the US from the Iran nu­clear deal has raised con­cerns across the globe. Trump has demon­strated ran­dom­ness and reck­less­ness in his for­eign poli­cies, as seen in his de­ci­sions to with­draw from the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship agree­ment, the Paris cli­mate deal and shift the US em­bassy in Is­rael from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, as well as his moves to spark a trade war be­tween China and the US. This lack of re­spon­si­bil­ity and com­mit­ment has left the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity aghast.

Trump’s be­hav­ioral pat­tern shows his ten­dency to make uni­lat­eral and pro­tec­tion­ist moves, and in­dulge in ad­ven­tur­ism and con­ser­vatism in in­ter­na­tional af­fairs, as well as pass racist re­marks.

First, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion puts US in­ter­ests above ev­ery­thing else, in­clud­ing the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and es­tab­lished in­ter­na­tional rules. He has re­peat­edly chal­lenged the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional sys­tem, rules and con­sen­suses re­gard­less of the con­se­quences, among which his de­ci­sion on the Iran nu­clear deal is a clas­sic ex­am­ple of a uni­lat­eral move that risks in­cit­ing ten­sions lead­ing to war.

Sec­ond, Trump uses pro­tec­tion­ism against all odds, build­ing tar­iff walls and non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers, fur­ther re­strain­ing the ex­ports of high-tech prod­ucts and know-how in order to main­tain the US’ mo­nop­oly over ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies. All this il­lus­trates Trump’s bla­tant pro­tec­tion­ist poli­cies.

Third, con­ser­vatism has greatly in­flu­enced Trump’s de­ci­sions. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s uni­lat­eral and pro­tec­tion­ist moves can be at­trib­uted to con­ser­vatism, which is con­trary to the pro­gres­sive trends across the world.

Fourth, his ad­ven­tur­ism, thanks to his blind be­lief in the US’ strength, has been fre­quently cre­at­ing prob­lems for the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. For ex­am­ple, Trump took a gam­ble by tar­get­ing both China and Rus­sia in his Na­tional Se­cu­rity Strat­egy and Nu­clear Pos­ture Re­view even though the strength and sta­tus of the US have rel­a­tively de­clined.

And fifth, in many cases in­clud­ing the tight­en­ing of con­trol on im­mi­gra­tion and the plan to build a wall along the US-Mex­ico bor­der, not to men­tion his out­ra­geous com­ments on im­mi­grants be­ing from “shit­hole coun­tries”, Trump has re­vealed his racist side.

Trump’s ac­tions, in fact, will do more harm than good to US en­ter­prises and peo­ple. For ex­am­ple, the ban on the ex­ports of chips to China will force China to ex­pe­dite its pro­gram to de­velop its own chip in­dus­try. This in turn will im­mensely in­crease the com­pet­i­tive pres­sure on the US en­ter­prises, which they might not be able to bear. And the US en­ter­prises’ exit from China’s lu­cra­tive mar­ket will be a fur­ther drag on their growth. Worse, US high-tech com­pa­nies will en­counter set­backs once China re­sponds in kind to Trump’s move.

Be­sides, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s with­drawal from mul­ti­ple in­ter­na­tional agree­ments will, to a large ex­tent, tar­nish the US’ in­ter­na­tional im­age as a re­spon­si­ble and trust­wor­thy part­ner, even­tu­ally lead­ing to the coun­try’s iso­la­tion from the global com­mu­nity.

Ul­ti­mately, the capri­cious­ness in Trump’s diplo­macy mir­rors the cur­rent state of the US’ eco­nomic, so­cial and po­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ment. Trump and his sup­port­ers might be con­scious of the in­dus­trial hol­low­ing-out of the US, but they haven’t re­ally rec­og­nized the sig­nif­i­cance of glob­al­iza­tion in the in­ter­na­tional dis­tri­bu­tion of pro­duc­tion.

And glob­al­iza­tion is an ir­re­versible trend. Glob­al­iza­tion has brought ben­e­fits to all, and should be re­spected by all coun­tries, es­pe­cially by the largest econ­omy which has been its big­gest ben­e­fi­ciary. If the US cocks a snook at glob­al­iza­tion and aban­dons in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion, not only will the US eco­nomic growth suf­fer, but also the world order would be en­dan­gered, lead­ing to global chaos. So let’s hope the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion rec­og­nizes th­ese dan­gers and changes its stance.

If the US ... aban­dons in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion, not only will the US eco­nomic growth suf­fer, but also the world order would be en­dan­gered, lead­ing to global chaos.

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