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Donald Trump inauguration

US President Trump releases foreign policy statement that echoes campaign but has few details

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 January, 2017, 3:41am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 January, 2017, 3:41am

US President Donald Trump’s foreign policy, summarised in a brief document posted on the White House website Friday, restated his campaign promises to achieve “peace through strength” by rebuilding the military, defeating “radical Islamic terror groups” and scrapping “failed” trade deals.

Without deviating from his campaign language, the statement provided no new details of how the new administration plans to accomplish his goals. The counterterrorism strategy echoed the Obama era strategy of working with coalition partners, cutting off terrorist funding and expanding intelligence sharing.

In starker terms than the previous administration, the statement pledged to “engage in cyber warfare” against terrorist networks.

It said the new administration would “embrace diplomacy.” In an apparent reflection of Trump’s stated intention to move toward warmer ties with Russia and to place security and economic interests above shared values, it said that “we are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies.”

On trade, the statement repeated Trump’s promise to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership - the Pacific Rim agreement signed last year by 12 countries, including the United States but excluding China.

It said the United States would withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) unless US partners Mexico and Canada agreed to renegotiate unspecified elements of the deal, something the governments of both those countries have already said they are willing to do.

US trade deals traditionally favouring “members of the Washington establishment,” would in the future “put America first,” it said, adding that the administration’s trade team, including wealthy businessmen and bankers, are the “best negotiators possible.”