From friendships with unlikely foes to threats toward current allies, President Donald Trump has written a significant and colorful chapter in the history of United States’ diplomacy.
Here’s a closer look at some of the major interactions Trump has had with foreign powers and how it will affect Americans, including BYU-Idaho students.
1. Trump shoots down Iran Nuclear Deal.
Trump reapplied sanctions on Iran that would take the United States out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal. This allows Iran to immediately begin developing nuclear weapons, as reported in a previous Scroll article.
Trump disagreed with the deal that was brokered under the Obama administration, as he believed it was not strong enough and did not cover concerns outside of Iran’s nuclear program, concerns including dismantling Iran’s ballistic missile program and the backing of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah.
Pulling out of the deal may provide a path for Iran — who has been hostile toward the U.S. — to obtain nuclear weapons. It has strained relations with many foreign allies who begged Trump to remain in the deal.
2. Trump moves Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Trump announced the move of the United States’ embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on December 6, 2017, with the official opening of the Jerusalem embassy on May 14, according to The Wall Street Journal.
This decision had larger implications than a simple geographical move, Jerusalem is claimed as the capital city of both Israel and Palestine and moving the embassy meant officially acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s and taking their side.
The conflict over Jerusalem and relating conflicts between Israel and Palestine have been long-standing and bloody. On the day of the embassy opening, Israel Defense Forces opened fire on Palestinian demonstrators, killing 60 and injuring hundreds more, according to NBC News.
3. Trump calls for Russia to be included in G7.
Trump called for Russia to be included in the Group of Seven conference, or G7, after they were kicked out of the former G8, four years ago, due to their annexation of Crimea, according to The Independent. The G7 currently consists of Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Why are we having the meeting without Russia being in the meeting?” Trump said, according to The Guardian. “Russia should be in the meeting, it should be a part of it.”
Trump was met with swift rebukes from all other members of the conference, with the exception of Italy, whose prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, agreed with Trump and also called for Russia to rejoin the conference, according to The Hill.
— GiuseppeConte (@GiuseppeConteIT) June 8, 2018
4. O Canada, we stand on guard from thee.
On May 31, Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from allies Canada, Mexico and the European Union. Trump cited reasons of national security as the reason for implementing these tariffs, sparking the beginning of a trade war, according to NBC News.
Canada responded with $12.8 billion in retaliatory tariffs as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling the tariffs imposed by the United States “totally unacceptable,” according to NBC News.
Trump implemented these tariffs to help the American steel industry and to create more jobs, but he has taken a serious gamble as trade wars begin to escalate, according to The Washington Post.
Trump’s tariffs in defense of the steel industry are predicted to create an additional 150,000 American jobs, but the retaliatory tariffs and looming trade wars are also predicted to cost nearly 2 million American jobs in return, according to NBC News.
5. Trump responds to Syrian chemical weapon attack.
The United States, the United Kingdom and France launched a joint missile strike on Syria after President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons on civilians that killed 43 and injured hundreds. The missile strike targeted chemical weapons facilities, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“This is a one-time shot,” said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Right now, we have no additional strikes planned.”
6. A deal you can refuse.
Trump campaigned on the promise of building a wall on the southern border. During his campaign, he also told supporters he would make Mexico pay for the wall.
“They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall,” Trump said during his campaign, according to CBS News.
Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has repeatedly denied and refused funding Trump’s border wall, according to the LA Times.
The border wall is a controversial issue and is at the center of the stalemate taking place over immigration reform in Congress. Trump has asked Congress for an estimated $25 billion in funding for the proposed wall while stating that Mexico will reimburse the U.S. eventually, according to The Washington Post.
7. President Trump goes to Singapore.
On June 11, Trump met with North Korean’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore during a historic meeting that marked the first time a U.S. president ever met with the leader of North Korea, according to BBC.
Trump met with Kim to negotiate denuclearization in return for the U.S. lifting various sanctions. Trump said he hopes this will be the first of many meetings that will result in North Korea abandoning their nuclear weapons program that Kim has repeatedly threatened various nations with, including the United States, according to Politico.
Both Trump and Kim said the meeting was positive and expect to continue their relationship and negotiations, according to The Guardian.
“We had a really fantastic meeting,” Trump said, according to Politico. “A lot of progress. Really, very positive, I think better than anybody could have expected, top of the line, really good.“
The Washington Post reported that the U.S. will suspend military “war games” with South Korea in exchange for North Korea committing to denuclearization talks. The U.S. has suspended similar training exercises in the region before in exchange for denuclearization talks with North Korea. Previous agreements quickly fell through as North Korea refused to allow inspections of their nuclear facilities, according to The Washington Post.
Trump’s unique brand of diplomacy has garnered both criticism and praise but his latest meeting with Kim seems to have caught the attention of the American public as his approval ratings are the highest in over a year, according to Business Insider.