President Donald Trump, currently polling below 40% job approval rating of his handling of the American Presidency by American voters, has reached the spring of his second year in office, and with it a turbulent economic Easter at that, by deciding to pick a full on trade war with the second largest economy on the planet.
After this remarkably volatile first year of any modern American President and US administration in world affairs, President Donald Trump seemed to be calming down, and finding somewhat of a more stable and responsible stakeholder rhythm in the international order and architecture.
By attempting to focus on grand strategic bargain geopolitics within American foreign policy – where the White House and Trump administration has more freedom of executive power in foreign affairs and diplomacy – President Trump has not proven able as yet to individually intellectually conceptualize a winning strategy as a responsible participating, but leading, stakeholder as well as geopolitical and geoeconomic diplomacy for American power in the early 21st century.
His decision for example to indulge his Office of Trade Representative Peter Navarro in launching a totally unnecessary, uncalled for and unwinnable, plus harmful, stupid trade war with the planets second largest economy, and economy of nearly 1.4 billion customer and consumers, the People's Republic of China, is a case in point. This is a deeply irresponsible, needless, harmful and erratic policy course of action in the run up to the US-Korean Summit.
After much goodwill has been invested in and generated and much hard work has laid a strong foundation for major creative innovations in world affairs it is unfortunate that crude and primitive policy instruments, that only serve to harm American interests have been resorted to. The short term damage that will be felt politically by President Trump's Republican Party in the upcoming mid term Congressional elections could be enough to restore California Congresswoman Representative Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco as Speaker of the House of Representatives and sweep the Democrats back to power in the House for the first time on Capitol Hill since 2010.
A Trump administration sponsored and engineered Trade War thanks to the likes of US administration officials such as Peter Navarro is deeply worrying, disturbing and totally the wrong course of policy at this time in international affairs especially with critical diplomacy underway in the field of North Korean denuclearization.
The Trump Presidency has gotten off to a sputtering and erratic, chaotic start with two Secretaries of State and three National Security Advisors all in the space of 14 months. While the departure of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and HR McMaster as National Security Advisor, thus removing the more aggressive Obama era German leaning State Department CIA neocons, is a welcome development and overdue, the embrace of the right wing anti-Russian neo-cons in the form of American nationalist hawk John Bolton as National Security Advisor is an ominous development that needs careful assessment. President Trump needs to finesse his foreign policy and jettison stupid and dangerous ideas of a US-Sino Trade War while also moving towards embracing and delivering a more constructive, trusting and innovative dialogue with President Vladimir Putin's Russia.
President Trump's foreign policy has so far failed to embrace a friendly and constructive more accommodating partnership with President Vladimir Putin's Russia and also has failed to demonstrate a mature commitment to better and stronger relations with China as a strategic partner. The moving away from the Tillerson/McMaster State Department CIA wing is welcome but President Trump has got to do more to assert more policy making inside his administration for better, stronger and healthier relations with two major strategic world powers in the 21st century such as China and Russia.