Foreign Policy

Trump Flip-Flopped on Many Foreign Policy Positions Yesterday

Written by SK Ashby

To the extent that Trump even has positions, he abandoned most of them yesterday within the span of a few hours.

Since even before he ran for president, Trump has accused China of "cheating" by manipulating their currency value, but he backed off that position during an interview with the Wall Street Journal published yesterday.

"They're not currency manipulators," Trump told the Journal about China. The statement is an about-face from Trump's election campaign promises to slap that label on Beijing on the first day of his administration as part of his plan to reduce Chinese imports into the United States.

Trump also expressed support for the Export-Import Bank, which helps foreign buyers purchase American-made exports, during his interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Trump first told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday he would fill two vacancies on the agency's five-member board that have prevented the bank from having a quorum and being able to act on loans over $10 million. Trump's picks must gain approval from the Senate, which blocked nominees by former President Barack Obama.

During a press conference yesterday, Trump also said NATO is "no longer obsolete" even though he's been saying that for two years.

During a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, Trump said NATO "is no longer obsolete" because it has adapted to focus on handling the threat of terror. [...]

"NATO is obsolete," Trump, then a candidate, told ABC News in March of 2016. "And it's extremely expensive to the United States, disproportionately so. And we should readjust NATO. And it's going to have to be either readjusted to take care of terrorism or we're going to have to set up a new -- a new coalition, a new group of countries to handle terrorism because terrorism is out of control."

Trump also backed off his attacks on Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellin and low-interest rates.

I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you,” Trump said, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday. Of Yellen, he said “I like her, I respect her,” though “it’s very early.”

Those comments mark a reversal in Trump’s position on the campaign trail, when he said he would replace the 70-year-old Fed chair and called her “political” for keeping rates low.

Trump's impotent attack on the Assad regime was also a reversal of years of rhetoric which saw him repeatedly warn President Obama against taking similar action.

It's clear as day that Steve Bannon is on his way out of the White House, and there will be no "economic nationalism" to speak of. But there will be Nativism.