The Guardian
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Trump’s ‘America first’ policy would fail




Germany on Thursday criticised Republican White House frontrunner Donald Trump’s “America first” prescriptions for US foreign policy as doomed to failure in today’s globalised world.

In restrained diplomatic remarks, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier described Trump’s radical proposed overhaul of US diplomacy and defence policy presented Wednesday as “not without its contradictions”.

“‘America first’ — the key question is what does that mean for America’s foreign policy engagement,” Steinmeier told reporters when asked about Trump’s closely-watched policy speech.

“The world’s security architecture… cannot be organised in a unilateral way. No American president will be able to ignore this changed reality, so ‘America first’ actually cannot be the answer.”

Steinmeier questioned the logic of “saying on the one hand ‘we’re going to make America strong again’ and on the other, emphasising America’s retreat from the world”.

“The two don’t quite seem to go together,” he said. “It doesn’t really seem thought through.”

In a major foreign policy speech short on specifics, Trump warned that Europe and Asia may have to defend themselves, and vowed to tear up trade deals, retool NATO to oppose migration and “radical Islam” and put US national interests ahead of all other considerations.

Trump’s remarks came just days after US President Barack Obama wrapped up a trip to Europe in Germany, which he hailed as a major trade partner, NATO ally and political anchor of stability in a crisis-racked EU.

While Obama praised Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming stance toward asylum seekers as being “on the right side of history”, Trump has blasted Germany’s decision to let in hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees as “insane”.

During a joint press conference with Obama on Sunday, Merkel declined to comment on the prospect of Trump winning the White House in November, saying only that she was following the US campaign “with interest”.

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