Trump’s State of the Union Speech Gives Asia More Reasons to Feel Anxious
US President Donald Trump was largely hailed for his State of the Union address Tuesday night, though many said that his speech was filled with lies. In a true Trump style, the president was bombastic and boastful about his successes, most of which appear to have been greatly exaggerated.
The State of the Union Speech was not new or reassuring. People, who were already disturbed by Trump’s manner of leadership and consistent exaggerations and lies, are now even more petrified. And for Asia, nothing Trump said was new, reassuring or welcoming.
Trump sang his own praises about trade tariffs that have been imposed on China. He bragged about the new US-China trade deal, referring to structural change and unfair trade practices. He wants a big Chinese shopping spree so that China can reduce its US trade deficit. He spoke about rebalancing the US-China economic relationship.
China has indicated moving in a different direction, one far removed from Trump’s smoke and mirrors.
Trump also spoke about imposing auto tariffs up to 25% on Japan and the EU. His ideas – considered to be outrageous – would not be accepted by Tokyo or Brussels. And, as economists say, not well thought out.
He spoke at large about the US-Mexico-Canada agreement, one in direct conflict to the US-China potential agreement. He rose concerns over a nuclear arms race, spoke about ending wars in Syria and Afghanistan, and while he sounded confident and bombastic, his words held little substance. He also spoke about what he considers to be ‘Great Nations’, saying they do not fight endless wars, urging restraint.
China owns a lot of INF missiles. It is pretty unlikely they will agree to the restraint that Trump is calling for. There are also fears that the ending of the INF, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, will, in fact, be the start of a new and unmonitored arms race.
Trump also revealed the date and venue for his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Trump boasted that it was because of his first meeting with Kim Jong-un that US-North Korea share good relations now. This is, in fact, fake news and rhetoric, the relationship between the two countries currently being little more than window dressing.
The State of the Union address did little to assuage anyone’s fears. Trump seems to continue for another two years on his disastrous presidency.
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