Last week in an interview with Reuters, U.S. President Trump labelled the Chinese as “grand champions at manipulation of currency”, indicating he has not fully backtracked from his campaign promise to designate China as a ‘currency manipulator’ on ‘day one’ of his Presidency. The position of Washington on this topic has not exactly been crystal clear, however, with the new U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin, announcing on the same day as Trump’s comment that the Treasury was in fact still going through the formal process of analysing Chinese currency practices, and that no judgements would be made prior to the completion of that process. Read the rest of this entry »
In his inaugural address, Donald Trump declared “From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first” (a phrase, associated with opponents of entering World War II). Former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer commented that “‘America first’ signals the renunciation, and possible destruction, of the US-led world order that Democratic and Republican presidents, starting with Franklin D. Roosevelt, have built up and maintained – albeit with varying degrees of success – for more than seven decades.” (Project Syndicate, “The God of Carnage,” January 27, 2017)
The world is struggling to comprehend the implications of Donald Trump’s election as United States President, including the isolationist, protectionist and anti-trade policies he advanced during the campaign. His election, along with the United Kingdom’s approval of the Brexit referendum in June 2016, has shaken the principles which underpin the G20, namely the pursuit of closer international cooperation.
Donald Trump will become President of the USA on 20 January 2017. Even if he only implements part of what he has announced, a political earthquake will be unleashed. This will radically change the conditions the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement. Efforts to organize global cooperation need to be massively expanded: the EU needs to strengthen its international profile, and it needs a 100-day programme outlining its priorities. The German G20 Presidency can help to strengthen climate protection and the 2030 Agenda. These are the foundations upon which the transatlantic partnership as well as dialogue between societies must move forward.