Contributor Perspectives

The Future of U.S. Foreign Policy? Trade

Cameron Munter
Board of Contributors
Jan 13, 2018 | 15:03 GMT
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers. On Jan. 30, Trump will give his first State of the Union address, in which he will outline foreign and domestic policies that may be more interrelated than usual.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a retreat with Republican lawmakers at Camp David in Thurmont, Maryland, Jan. 6, 2018.

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

In the rhythm of U.S. foreign policymaking, the first few weeks of every year are a dramatic pause. Experts in the field make preparations in early January as they await the president's State of the Union address, slated this year for Jan. 30, somewhat later than usual. After a spate of "year-in-review" articles, followed by "what-to-expect" pieces, the experts turn their attention to the annual speech to see what course of action the White House plans to take. The current president, however, is different from his predecessors. The leading publications and established institutions specializing in international affairs may be less useful sources for gleaning the direction of U.S. foreign policy this year than they have been in the past. Rather, the primacy of domestic policy will dictate the course of new foreign policy initiatives. Now that Congress has passed a new, far-reaching tax bill -- leaving few easy domestic legislative projects...

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