Six months have passed since President Trump’s inauguration. He was elected under the slogan of “Make America Great Again,” but looking over his first six months in office, America’s impact in the international community has instead declined.
With respect to the key promises he made, the future looks bleak for his domestic policies, which include revised health care reform and the construction of a wall along the Mexican border. Thus far, the policies have been opposed by Congress, and there’s no telling if or when they’ll be implemented.
On the other hand, what has been implemented is a withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, an accord which laid the framework for countermeasures against global warming, and also from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. By casting away what was already decided, America has made a lasting impression of imposing its egotism on the international community.
America’s diplomatic relations hang in a stalemate. Though Trump approached China seeking cooperation on sanctions against North Korea, he was unable to exert as much pressure as he hoped, and has recently made his irritation about it clear.
Above all, Trump is especially passionate about denying the legacy left by the Obama administration. With a shift in administrations comes a shift in policy. The problem is that even after six months, there doesn’t seem to be any plan in sight to create new systems and frameworks to replace the Obama administration’s policies.
This poses a problem for leading democratic countries such as those in Europe as well as Japan, which up until now have molded the order of the international community around America. According to a survey conducted in 37 countries by an American research organization, ever since the inauguration of the Trump administration, trust in the U.S. president has plummeted in each country. America is losing its light as the leader of the world.
The international community has already begun constructing a foundation without America and without expecting leadership from America. In a meeting between the heads of the Group of 20 leading rich and developing nations, every leader besides America’s has decided to move forward with the early stages of the Paris climate agreement. The 11 countries participating in the TPP are also proceeding without America, and continue to hold conferences in order to make it a reality.
Though the Trump administration has been rocked by doubts stemming from “Russiagate,” it’s unlikely Trump will be impeached, considering the strength of Republicans in Congress. Assuming Trump will carry out his four years in office without changing his speech, his conduct or his way of thinking, the time has come for the Japanese government to sincerely consider how it should associate with an America that has isolated itself.