Trump leaves world rattled

The Asian Age.

Opinion, Edit

The world can’t be comfortable amid uncertainty caused by a major power.

US President Donald Trump (Photo: PTI/File)

The only thing predictable about US President Donald Trump may be his unpredictability. He surprised the world again by asking secretary of state Rex Tillerson to go. Mr Trump’s way is vastly different from established Republican politics: the number of changes he has made in key administration positions — nearly 25 at last count — is a clear indication that he sticks to his own vision. Mr Trump doubtless feels his hire-and-fire strategy is good for his “America First” policy and will best serve the constituents he hopes to please, who helped him win power in amazing way just over a year ago. Whether such uncertainty is good for the rest of the world is moot: the departure of Mr Tillerson, a successful oilman, could be a major one for American foreign policy, amid buzz that the national security adviser may also be out soon.

The world can’t be comfortable amid uncertainty caused by a major power. Even Europeans, America’s traditional allies, are upset with Mr Trump’s trade policies and his uppity trade wars stance, with his quip that “such wars are good because they can be won”. While his American jobs theory may play well to home audiences, it’s far from certain if, by shunning free trade, America can still sway countries with its influence. In raking up trade disputes with WTO, the US may cause more friction. With his larger strategic vision still unclear, the world gets the impression that it can’t depend on America in any crunch situation. That is the Trump conundrum — that’s making the world wonder more than just the revolving door of his top aides.