DENVER – U.S. President Donald Trump blew off two multilateral summits in Asia in November. Given his soggy and sulking performance in Paris, during the international commemoration of the centenary of the end of World War I, it was probably for the best that Vice President Mike Pence attended instead. Pence was able to spread the gospel of American unilateralism at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore, and again at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Papua New Guinea.
But regardless of who’s delivering the message, it is clear that America is losing its way. The Trump administration’s “America First” foreign policy has yielded little fruit and left the United States isolated and increasingly discredited on the world stage. The international initiatives of past administrations have been replaced by empty slogans, hollow gestures and, of course, “alternative facts.” With Trump scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina this weekend, the U.S. may have one last chance to turn things around.