Trump’s behavior has not wholly damaged U.S. credibility — yet. But over time, his unilateral volatility threatens to become the dominant narrative about the U.S., eclipsing past values and leadership.
The prospect of growing U.S. isolation did not discourage President Trump from pushing his unilateral trade agenda at the G7 summit. This divisive approach is severing the unity that for decades tied together the multilateral economic system.
As President Trump continues to disregard European concerns, Germany feels the need to cultivate better relations with China, with an understanding of the pitfalls and limitations of working with Beijing.
Lehne is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe in Brussels, where his research focuses on the post–Lisbon Treaty development of the European Union’s foreign policy, with a specific focus on relations between the EU and member states.