Trump Doesn’t Like Traveling. That’s Bad for Diplomacy.

The Importance of Presidential Jet-Setting

Trump boards Air Force One at Beale Air Force Base, California, November 2018. Leah Millis / REUTERS

One of U.S. President Donald Trump’s few consistent views is that the United States must replace grand, multilateral bargains with more favorable bilateral deals. As he said of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a 2016 speech, “We need bilateral trade deals. We do not need to enter into another massive international agreement that ties us up and binds us down.” But two years into Trump’s presidency, the results are underwhelming. A deal with China has proved elusive. Trump’s new agreement with Canada and Mexico amounts to little more than a rebranded NAFTA. A grand bargain with North Korea still seems unlikely, notwithstanding the announcement on Friday of a second summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. U.S. alliances with Japan and South Korea are fraying, and relations with Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey are little better than they were two years ago, despite Trump’

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