Does Trump divide the world into two groups?

Europe treats us worse than China, President Donald Trump said  ahead of the G20 summit. What do you expect this time from POTUS on the international scene, especially taking into account the state of transatlantic relations?

Martin EdwardsAssociate Professor, School of Diplomacy and International Relations , Seton Hall University

The only good news here is that the President isn’t very consistent about his rankings. He’s also said that Vietnam takes advantage of the US more than China does. This is admittedly little comfort to the Europeans, who are also getting tired of being needled about NATO.

This is a White House that does not understand what multilateral diplomacy is all about.

For this G20, I think the President is going to take it as an afterthought – all of the preparation for this meeting is going to be for the bilateral talks with China. And this is an opportunity for the rest of the world: can they form a united front to confront the US on the range of issues from climate to Iran to WTO reform, in which President Trump is hindering progress rather than aiding it?

While there is no hope for a breakthrough here, the hope is that by hanging together, the other G20 members can make clear to the White House the costs of its failed policies, and that its views are not shared.

Jack Goldstone, Chair Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University, Global Fellow , Woodrow Wilson International Center

It is now clear that President Trump has divided the world into two groups: Those countries who have taken advantage of the US, which is all of America’s major trading partners (UK, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Canada, China), and those countries who can benefit Trump (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Israel, N Korea). The latter are all countries for whom anything can be forgiven, as Trump expects financial or political benefits from better relations.  But the former will all be attacked verbally and with tariffs until Trump thinks he has a “win” on trade.  So I expect the G20 in Japan to be no different from past NATO or G20 meetings:. More tensions with China and former allies, and warm relations with Russia.  On Iran, Brexit, and trade, Europe and Trump have opposite views, and that is not going to change.

Bruce JentlesonProfessor of Public Policy and Political Science, Duke University

Trump has never liked multilateral formats such as G-20. He’s not serious about the issues on the agenda. He pushes to  be the center of attention even more than US Presidents usually are. His summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping runs lots of risks. And if his one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin  is as one-sided in Putin’s favor as the 2018 Helsinki Summit was, it will add to his problems with the Russia issue at home.

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