Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trump appears more pragmatic than populist on Europe policy, says US expert

Despite his disparaging remarks about European integration in the past, US President Donald Trump's recent statements and policies in this regard showed he is more pragmatic than populist, a US expert said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

"Trump seems to be moving from what you can call a more nationalistic and populist foreign policy to something more mainstream," said Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

"One perhaps reassuring attribute is that he does not appear to be a deeply committed ideologue," he added.


During and after the campaign, Trump openly questioned the value of NATO alliance, calling the 67-year-old bloc "obsolete" and once hinting that the United States may not defend its members unless they lived up to their financial obligations.

Though his relentless call for the NATO members to raise their defense spending has for now become a ritual of his interaction with every single leader of NATO nations, Trump proclaimed earlier this month that he no longer deemed the bloc obsolete.

"It's much easier to work with Europe when it acts together and when it aggregates its influence than when it is divided," Kupchan added.

"I'm actually reasonably confident that Trump is going to come around on Europe," he said. "That's because he in the end is more pragmatic than he is ideological. Now he is listening to people who are more seasoned, such as his key cabinet members and people who appear to be somewhat more in the political center."............

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