In United States history, there are specific ideas and policies that define the nation politically, socially, and economically. Among said policies, foreign affairs is an issue that is under consistent speculation and debate. America’s international relations have shifted back and forth between isolationism and intervention for some time, having become especially prominent following the end of World War II. In more recent years, foreign regulations have settled more so on the intervention side of the spectrum as a result of terrorism and economic crisis. However, this continuity does not mean that the controversy surrounding foreign affairs has ceased, especially now that President Trump plans to revert back to the isolationist ideals that have historically resulted (mostly) in failure.
Trump’s inaugural address has received attention on a number of different fronts and foreign policy, to no surprise, is not an exception. The ideas expressed in the speech essentially redefined American ideals that have been widely understood since their birth in the 1950s. Placing “America First” has become something of a mantra for Trump on the topic of foreign affairs and the president’s plans and beliefs certainly parallel this statement. Most prominently, the potential ends to international trade agreements, U.S. involvement in NATO, free travel of Muslims into the nation, and immigration from Mexico signify the extreme, but in some instances necessary, foreign intervention plans of President Trump.
Trade arrangements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (or the TPP), are currently being questioned by the president and will potentially be eliminated entirely. For the United States to pull out of the TPP would be a momentous first step in the new foreign policy doctrine, one that in the long term, could be detrimental in American economics. The Prime Minister of Singapore has spoken on the subject to John McCain, warning if the U.S. abandons the agreement, the nation will “be finished in Asia” (National Review). For many decades, the country has maintained an economic system of international open commerce that has given way for a multitude of democratic alliances. If Trump is to terminate our involvement in the TPP, the economic growth and global leadership that defines American foreign policy will cease to exist.