Trump Asia Trip Yields No ‘Durable’ Accomplishments

Daniel Russel on CNN International Today

On November 13, 2017, ASPI Diplomat in Residence Daniel Russel spoke with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about whether President Donald Trump found success in his first presidential trip to Asia.

Russel states that though Trump tried to reassure U.S. partners during the trip, it is difficult to see what if anything "the president really accomplished that is durable" on his two top priorities, North Korea and trade. Russel is unsure that Trump "utilized the tremendous leverage that comes with these trips to the fullest extent."

Trump warming up to Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping during the trip casts further doubt on whether he truly intends to uphold the values and principles underpinning the current liberal world order, adds Russel. “The countries in the Asia Pacific want the United States to be present in support of the rule of law and support of the post-war liberal system.”

Russel concludes that if Trump disregards these values as central to U.S. Asia policy, then he may make China look like the defender of the global order. Not only is that “unnerving and paradoxical for all the countries in the region,” but it will also “badly undermine" U.S. credibility and influence, says Russel. (6 min., 26 sec.)

Watch the interview. 

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