Trump touts nationalistic view of foreign affairs at United Nations
President says patriots better than globalists
UNITED NATIONS — President Donald Trump delivered one of his harshest critiques of globalism on Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly, promoting the “America First” ethos that has defined his presidency on issues of defense, trade and immigration before a body built on international cooperation.
Trump read his address in a monotone, rarely punctuating words or pausing for emphasis, but his message for the 74th session of the annual gathering of world leaders was clear as he argued that a view of the world as a global commons had “exerted a religious pull over past leaders” at the expense of their own nations.
“The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots,” Trump said. “The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors, and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”
Trump’s speech before the United Nations — a group founded on the principle that multilateral cooperation can stop international conflicts — underscored that his administration sees little benefit in assuming much of the global leadership responsibilities embraced by his predecessors.
In his 37-minute address, Trump stressed that all nations must take care of themselves first, while adding that the United States would get involved abroad only when its own interests were threatened.
He also used his platform Tuesday to take a hard line against Iran as tensions between the two countries escalate following an attack on a Saudi oil facility earlier this month.
The U.S. — joined by the United Kingdom, France and Germany this week — has blamed Iran for the attack on the oil facility and, during Tuesday’s address, Trump called Iran “one of the greatest security threats facing peace-loving nations today.”
“All nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidize Iran’s blood lust,” Trump said. “As long as Iran’s menacing behavior continues, sanctions will … be tightened.”
But Trump’s reluctance to escalate the standoff with Tehran into a military confrontation was on display later Tuesday when he teased a potential meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, saying Iran “would like to negotiate,” but that the two sides had not agreed to that “yet.”
For most of his address, Trump highlighted his nationalist perspective in many areas, particularly trade and immigration — two issues that helped put him in the White House.
On immigration, Trump issued his characteristic warnings toward Central American migrants making the journey to the U.S. southern border, saying: “If you make it here, you will not be allowed in; you will be promptly returned home.”
President Donald Trump addresses the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. His speech condemned globalism in favor of sovereign, independent nations.