Trump’s overseas trips reap goodwill and trade agreements

I was told if Donald Trump became president, America would be isolated from the rest of the world. Whether the looming threat of isolation was due to Trump’s America First policy on trade or because foreign leaders would be unable to stomach working with the man, America would be doomed. Fortunately, those predictions are proving as wrong as everything else when it comes to conventional political wisdom.

In the age of Trump, the opposite is happening. A quick look at Trump’s first year in office shows a good bit of travel overseas. To date, he has made four trips internationally and visited 14 countries. Moving forward into 2018, there are already 7 trips overseas planned. The most recent trip was to Asia. The 12-day trip reaped some potentially serious business rewards for America. Trump brought along representatives from some 40 companies with a heavy focus on energy investment. As this article from Bloomberg explains, the results may include thousands of jobs in Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

One of the biggest deals the Trump administration is currently negotiating is a multibillion-dollar energy investment from Chinese oil and gas giant China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. that would bring thousands of new jobs to hurricane-ravaged areas in Texas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of the deals, including the China Petroleum investment, are expected be in the form of nonbinding memorandums of understanding, not contracts.

Among the companies tentatively listed as working on China-related deals in conjunction with the trip, according to a government document obtained by Bloomberg News, are General Electric Co.Honeywell International Inc.Westinghouse Electric Co.Alaska Gasline Development Corp., the Boeing Co. and Qualcomm Inc. The companies represent a variety of sectors from life sciences to heavy machinery. Other companies that may have deals in progress, according to the document, include Cheniere Energy Inc., Terex Corp., Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.Applied Materials Inc.Caterpillar Inc.and Blackstone Group.

Any agreements made are just that, agreements, not trade deals yet. But, it’s a start.

In West Virginia, something wonderful for the state is in the works. As reported in the New York Post, despite the lack of publicity, the deal is huge.

So far, the details about how China Energy will invest nearly $84 billion in West Virginia — the biggest of several deals totaling $250 billion signed by Trump in China — are scant. The first stage is reportedly scheduled to begin in the next six to eight months with the building of at least two natural gas-fired power plants likely located in Brooke and Harrison counties, both of which have suffered substantial job and population losses, as well as wage stagnation, over the past 30 years.

Besides playing golf with his pal, Japanese Prime Minister Abe, and addressing the National Assembly in Seoul, Trump was honored with a rare dinner in the Forbidden City while in China. As this Time article points out, the welcome rolled out by China was the most over-the-top of all.

Donald and Melania Trump were given the rare honor of a dinner inside the Forbidden City. It was the first time a foreign leader has dined there since 1949, the founding of the People’s Republic of China, Nikkei Asia Review reported.

Let’s hope the trade agreements become trade deals and the goodwill developed with Asian leaders turns into help dealing with North Korea.