My third cut is that there is a deeper problem with the president’s foreign policy, and it is a problem that might affect his 2020 chances. Simply put, the Trump administration has frittered away its ability to cow or coerce anyone on the global stage. It is not just that the rest of the world hates Donald Trump; it is that they neither respect nor fear him.
The tricks that Trump deployed in his first few years to try to coerce allies no longer seem to work. U.S. corporations no longer fear the wrath of Trump’s tweets, for example. the New York Times’ Alan Rappeport reported last month that “the president’s scattershot attention span has diminished his power to persuade the business world to bend to his will, corporate communications experts say, as once fearsome tweet storms have devolved into ephemeral annoyances.”
The same is true for U.S. allies, as well. The NYT’s Julian Barnes and Adam Satariano reported last month that the Trump administration’s efforts to cajole allies into blocking Huawei from building their 5G networks have failed, and failed badly.