Donald Trump left the virtual G20 meeting after making a very brief appearance. He preferred to go play golf. Obviously, it is nicer to play golf than to discuss the coronavirus pandemic, the global environment or the taxation of GAFAM.
In addition, Trump prefers bilateral relations to multilateral relations.
This absence is paradoxical for someone who claims to have won the presidential election. Trump is thus missing a great opportunity to mark the international stage. And although Trump will not be president in two months, he will still be in office until Joe Biden takes over.
It is the American Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, who has taken all the place in international politics. Since the failure of the last meeting between Kim Jong-un and Trump, he does not seem to attach much importance to American foreign policy.
It must be said that most heads of state have a poor opinion of him. And then, since his defeat in the presidential elections, he sulks. If at least he boycotted this year’s G20 because it’s organized by Saudi Arabia. But no.
The Trump administration now seems to be concerned only with international military affairs. Withdrawing troops from the Middle East, deepening Iran’s isolation and building a network of military alliances against China have been the main US foreign policies for the past few months.
It is true that the G20 risks making the United States look bad.
For example, providing global access to COVID-19 vaccines is certainly a beautiful and noble goal. But neither American nor European companies will provide this vaccine to poor countries. The entire African and South American continents will receive Chinese vaccines. The contracts are signed.
G20 leaders must also discuss the promotion of universal systems of access to health. Enough to make Trump supporters believe that the entire planet has become a communist.
As for environmental issues, one wonders what the Trump administration could bring constructively, especially after the official withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement. In addition, under the theme of “saving the planet”, leaders must discuss sustainable energies.
Trump will also want to avoid discussing a third important topic of the G20 conference: how to tax GAFAM and other digital companies.
World in reverse
The more one examines the topics of discussion of the G20, the more one understands that Trump is absent from them. In areas such as health, the environment and electronic commerce, the world is moving in the opposite direction to the policies put forward by the Trump administration.
It would be very embarrassing for Trump supporters to notice. Who knows, they might end up losing faith in their savior.