‘Deals Are My Art Form’: Recap of Four Years of Trump’s Foreign Policy

When Trump campaigned for US president in the 2016 election, he pledged to “end endless wars,” presenting himself as an isolationist and an outsider in stark contrast to the institutional legacy of Hillary Clinton, a former secretary of state, US senator and first lady who opposed him on the Democratic ticket that year.

Trump billed himself as a great negotiator, citing his career as a businessman of brokering deals with hard-headed clients and claiming it would give him a unique ability to smooth over conflicts with America’s adversaries.

During his campaign, Trump promised to put “America First” and claimed that other nations, from China to Germany to Mexico, were taking advantage of the United States in various ways that hurt Americans, in many cases faulting Democrats like Clinton for having signed bad deals.

Europe and the UK

Trump’s relationships with European leaders were capricious, at times chumming around with them and then sharply criticizing them, as he did with French President Emmanuel Macron. His pushing of NATO members, in particular Germany, to substantially increase their defense spending helped spark talk of an independent European Army for the European Union, and at times he spoke openly of the alliance’s obsolescence. However, he also substantially expanded NATO’s eastern presence, sending troops from Germany into countries on the Russian border and building new installations in Poland.

Meanwhile, during Trump’s tenure, the United…

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