SHAFFER: Trump’s Diplomacy Is Fueling America’s Global Resurgence

Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images

Tony Shaffer London Center for Policy Research
Font Size:

In the uncertain, ever-changing world of international relations, President Trump’s new brand of diplomacy has proven to be the perfect solution to new challenges posed by an evolving world order: Strong. Measured. Precise. Effective.

Trump honed his considerable negotiating skills while brokering multi-million dollar business deals throughout his decades-long career in the private sector, and he’s putting them to good use now that he’s president.

He BUILT things. Real things. As the CEO of Trump International, he had to deal with complexity to accomplish specific and successful outcomes. It is this formula that has now been brought to bear and create the renaissance that America is now experiencing.

By sticking to his America First vision, the Commander-in-Chief has also successfully used economic leverage to advance his geopolitical objectives while simultaneously strengthening the U.S. economy at home. An ascending American economy, after all, is an elixir for the world and a tonic for presidential negotiations.

As a result, Trump’s foreign policy strategy has produced tangible victories on issues that persistently confounded previous presidents. This is key — he sees economic success and strength as a national security issue — a focus that none of his predecessors of the past 20 years has understood.

Perhaps the most prominent example of Trump’s success in foreign affairs is his fresh approach toward China — a country that threatens to become a regional hegemon in Asia and undermine U.S. interests all around the globe.

His recent face-to-face meeting with President Xi, for instance, resulted in a key diplomatic breakthrough. The two countries are now working during a 90-day tariff cease-fire towards a major trade deal that will lead to significant economic growth.

“My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one,” Donald Trump tweeted following the talks. “Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward! Very good things will happen. We are dealing from great strength, but China likewise has much to gain if and when a deal is completed. Level the field!”

The president is far from a naive idealist, however — he recognizes the importance of keeping the pressure on China by maintaining the credible threat of new tariffs. For that reason, the president warned that if Beijing fails to uphold its end of the bargain, America will be ready to confront China with aggressive economic sanctions.

“We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all — at which point we will be charging major Tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States,” Trump tweeted. “Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal – either now or into the future. China does not want Tariffs!”

President Trump has also achieved major breakthroughs on other foreign policy challenges.

For instance, by convincing Beijing that regional peace is in everyone’s best interest, Trump got China to put pressure on its vassal North Korea, opening the door to Trump’s historic summit meeting with Kim Jong-Un, with a second summit between the two leaders expected in February.

Closer to home, the president has also successfully replaced NAFTA with a better trilateral agreement that truly protects American workers. Despite the reluctance of Mexico and Canada to give up their sweetheart arrangement, Trump managed to persuade our North American trading partners to update the accord by making clear that he was willing to impose counter-tariffs on them if they did not agree to a totally new deal.

Trump even coaxed Mexico into taking an active role in containing the assault on our border by Central American “caravans,” convincing the Mexican government to offer temporary residency and shelter to the migrants to dissuade them from attempting to illegally cross the U.S. border.

President Trump’s style of diplomacy will continue to be useful in the key geopolitical negotiations of tomorrow, including efforts to resolve the growing security competition between the United States, Russia, and China.

“I am certain that, at some time in the future, President Xi and I, together with President Putin of Russia, will start talking about a meaningful halt to what has become a major and uncontrollable Arms Race,” Trump tweeted recently. “The [United States] spent 716 Billion Dollars this year. Crazy!”

By tapping into a mutual global concern — namely the astronomical price tag of military buildup — the president is creating a foundation for de-escalating tensions with America’s main rivals.

Rather than repeating the failures of his predecessors by sticking to outdated and discredited diplomatic strategies and bad trade deals, Trump has brought a creative new approach to foreign affairs that effectively leverages economic pressure to secure concessions from our rivals that were previously thought to be out of reach, with much more to come.

The economy is the basis for America’s 21st-century security — and all Americans will benefit from the president’s leadership and understanding of this fact.

Tony Shaffer (@T_S_P_O_O_K_Y ) is a retired senior intelligence operations officer who served more than 20 years with the U.S. Army. He is presently vice president of operations of the London Center for Policy Research in Manhattan and an adviser to Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir “Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Operations on the Frontlines of Afghanistan.”

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.