Trump Takes Foreign Policy Victory Lap In Speech

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump said that “America is back” in a speech Wednesday celebrating his foreign policy work.

Trump proclaimed that he had inherited several challenges from previous administrations, including trade deficits and the spread of the Islamic State.

“Some of these mistakes were borne of indifference and neglect, others from naive thinking and misguided judgment,” Trump said. “In some cases, the negative influence of partisan politics and special interests was to blame. But the one common thread behind all of these problems was a failure to protect and promote the interests of the American people and American workers. Upon my inauguration, I pledged that we would rebuild America, restore its economic strength and defend its national security.”

The president ran through his several foreign policy trips and confidently declared that he has implemented his pledge from Inauguration Day. “My fellow citizens, America is back and the future has never looked brighter,” Trump declared during the closing of his speech.

Trump returned Tuesday from a 13-day trip in Asia where he frequently bemoaned America’s trade deficits.

“From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first,” Trump said during a speech Friday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Vietnam.

The president said Wednesday that he had a “very candid conversation” with Chinese President Xi Jinping about America’s trade deficit and pointed to 42 South Korean companies pledging to make a $17 billion investment in the U.S. as a sign of his success overseas.

One White House aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, also noted to The Daily Caller that Trump stood up to Xi by speaking of a free and open “Indo-Pacific.” This term refers to major democracies India, Australia and Japan wielding power in Asia. The aide said the use of the term implicitly means Trump won’t cede Asian countries to “being client nations of China.”

Trump also spoke about his travels to Saudi Arabia and Europe. He claimed that repeated American military victories against ISIS was due to cooperation established during his visit to Riyadh. He went on to add that NATO countries have increased their military expenditures following Trump’s June speech that was criticized for not mentioning mutual defense.