Trumping the G-20
We are not interested in this, and our American partners are not interested in this. President Trump is my friend and I am convinced he is also not interested in this.” U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and the blacklisting of telecom giant Huawei have dented the Chinese economy, and Beijing has responded with duties of its own on U.S. exports worth $60 billion.
The unmatched American economy has weathered the trade battle well. But growing economic uncertainty and falling consumer confidence are risks the president cannot afford to take heading toward an election year.
Mr. Trump will further face a bird of a different feather in Osaka, an albatross in the form of Vladimir Putin. The Russian KGB man-turned-president has laughed at the mischief — real and imagined — he caused in the aftermath of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
He has damaged the Trump presidency by setting Democrats on their relentless quest to prove as fact the fantasy of a Trump-Putin alliance.Mr. Trump and the West need Mr. Putin to table his vandalism and lean in with a plan to discourage Iranian attacks on oil tankers and Iran’s return to nuclear bomb-making. Sadly, the opposite is likely.
Russia has sided with the mullahs in their shoot-down of a U.S. Navy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, supporting Tehran’s claim that the drone violated Iranian airspace. Rather than compete on the field, it’s easier to heckle from the sidelines, which is where Mr. Putin will have the misguided company of the Democrats in Washington.
Mr. Trump aims to cap his Osaka outing with a stop in South Korea to renew the American denuclearization campaign directed at the North. Having received “a beautiful letter” of birthday greetings from Kim Jong-un, Mr. Trump seeks the counsel of South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Mr. Trump wants to refresh the anti-nuclear dialogue that stalled during the U.S.-North Korean summit in Hanoi in February.
Talk is cheap, whether written or spoken, and it must take more good will than a letter can convey to persuade Mr. Trump to ease the economic sanctions meant to punish Pyongyang nuclear threats.
Original content can be located at The Washington Times