President Donald Trump campaigned on the idea that the United States is getting "ripped off" in international diplomacy and trade, and that by taking a hardline stance and intimidating other nations, he would be able to secure better deals for the country.
That is not happening. In fact, according to new reporting by the Washington Post, Trump's attempts to bully other nations are getting less and less effective, as countries like China, Mexico, and North Korea realize that he is not a rational actor. Furthermore, foreign leaders are increasingly taking notice of the fact that Trump is up for re-election and might not even be in office in a year and a half.
"I know that Trump considers the 2020 campaign as a triumphant march to the inevitable [reelection], but that's not the way the rest of the world is looking at it," former ambassador Christopher R. Hill told the Post. "You're already seeing the Chinese holding back and saying, 'We'll see what will happen over the next 18 months to see if he's still around and then maybe we'll do something.' To some extent, Trump does not have the self-awareness to understand that people are looking at the window closing on him."
Trump is currently attempting to use tariffs to pressure China to negotiate on trade, and to persuade Mexico to block Central American refugees from crossing the U.S. border.