Global Affairs

The new global order under Trump

The attacks on allies, trade wars and dismissal of small nations point to a return to the age of great power politics and spheres of influence

LONDON • Leaf through any Western newspaper, current affairs magazine or academic journal, and you'd be struck by the deep sense of despondency and foreboding that now grips the world's political elite. With some justification - for, in just the latest few weeks, United States President Donald Trump seems to have overturned all the fundamental assumptions that have underpinned the global order since the end of World War II, by setting fire to the entire structure of America's foreign and security policies.

Trade wars that used to frighten the daylights out of previous US presidents are now regular events; several trade wars are already unfolding and, judging by Mr Trump's latest statements over the weekend, many more are on their way, eventually covering up to half a trillion US dollars' worth of goods.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2018, with the headline 'The new global order under Trump '. Print Edition | Subscribe