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'America First' - Trump outlines his foreign policy plan

'America First' - Trump outlines his foreign policy plan
By Catherine Hardy with Reuters, AP
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The US would go it alone under a President Trump

  • A rare policy speech
  • Slams Obama’s international legacy
  • Pledges to work with Middle East allies
  • Warned allies must pay their share of defence budget

“America First”


Donald Trump has set out his plan for foreign policy if he becomes the next president of the United States.

The Republican presidential hopeful says he plans to put “America First”.

Trump, who normally speaks off-the-cuff, used an autocue to deliver this speech at a hotel in central Washington.

He will, he says, put “America First”.

“My foreign policy will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else. Has to be first. has to be. That will be the foundation of every single decision that I will make”

Donald Trump describes 'five main weaknesses' of US foreign policy – campaign live #Election2016

— The Guardian (@guardian) April 27, 2016

Fresh from a winning sweep of five northeastern primaries, Trump expanded on a foreign policy that has lacked detail and worried experts in both parties.

What did he say about Obama?

Trump delivered a withering critique of Barack Obama’s international record, pledging to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy”.

The current administration is leaving a legacy of “weakness, confusion and disarray,” he said.

“We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and to give ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad”.

He also criticised Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton’s handling of the deadly attacks on a US compound in Benghazi in Libya.

.POTUS</a> has weakened the U.S. military by weakening our economy, <a href="">realDonaldTrump says:

— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 27, 2016

He claimed the Democratic president has let China take advantage of the United States and has failed to defeat ISIL militants.

Trump pledged to seek better relations with Russia and China and promised to force US allies to bear more of the financial burden for defence.

What did he say about Russia?

“An easing of tensions with Russia from a position of strength” is possible, according to the Republican front-runner.

Donald Trump: The “cycle of hostility” between the U.S. and Russia must end

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 27, 2016

Relations between Washington and Moscow are at a particularly low ebb due to a number of issues, including Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Did he say anything about China?



The New York billionaire said he would use US economic leverage to persuade China to rein in North Korea’s nuclear programme.

Donald Trump: The U.S. lost China's respect by letting it take economic advantage of America

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 27, 2016

“China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all their respect,” he said.

What about ISIL?

“Their days are numbered,” Trump said, “I won’t tell then when and I won’t tell them how.”

Despite the anti-muslim tone of his campaign to date, Trump pledged to work closely with US allies in the Middle East to combat extremism.


“Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed, the world,” he said.

How big an issue is money?

A very big one.

Trump claimed allies of the United States have benefited from the US defence umbrella but have not paid their fair share.

Donald Trump: I said NATO is “obsolete and too many people are getting a free ride”

— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 27, 2016

He says he will call separate summits of NATO and Asian allies to discuss a “re-balancing” of the US financial commitment to their defence.


“The countries we defend must pay for the cost of this defence. If not, the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.”

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