Fran O’ thinks Bill English should tell Trump to save the world by keeping Obama’s policies

Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Now he has jettisoned the Paris Agreement on climate change. Will the World Trade Organisation and the United Nations be next as this presidential wrecking ball carves a new reputation for the US – not as “America First” but “America Alone”?

These questions will be top of mind for Prime Minister Bill English as he prepares to meet US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Wellington on Tuesday.

The future of multilateralism is now at stake.

It is this issue which should prompt English to shirtfront Tillerson (metaphorically speaking, of course) over the President’s intemperate disrespect for the rules-based global order.

Why is a rules-based global order desirable?  Or if it is, can it still work without the United States?   

Trump campaigned on a pledge to reclaim America’s sovereignty. It’s the way he is going about it that is the issue.

The Secretary of State – like other Cabinet colleagues and a swathe of top American CEOs – advised Trump not to jettison the climate agreement. But the President was not for turning.

Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett has already affirmed Trump’s right to fulfil his election commitments: “It’s democracy in action,” she said. “He’s not doing anything that he didn’t say he would do while he was on the campaign trail and the American people have him as their President.

“Although we may differ in things like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the climate change agreement, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still find alliances in other areas, like with the Five Eyes and other areas of trade, because they’re still very important to us.”

Frankly, Bennett’s suggestion that lobbying Tillerson will be futile – because “Trump has made his mind up” – doesn’t really cut it.

English – with Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee – does need to strenuously make it clear to Tillerson that what is really at stake is not simply US sovereignty, but America’s vital leadership role in maintaining global order.

Says who?

Seen the Middle East lately?  ISIS?   Hows’ that United States-driven Global “order” working out then?

To think we would have any effect on the way the Trump administration applies trade and foreign policy… well, you have to be a silly old bat past your use-by date to even think that’s going to work.


– Fran O’Sullivan, NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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