How U.S. Allies Are Adapting to "America First"

Trump and World Order at One

Trump at the White House, July 2017. Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

At the dawn of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, I predicted in Foreign Affairs that Trump’s “America first” agenda would set in motion tectonic forces beyond his control. As the ground shifted beneath their feet, longtime U.S. allies would lose confidence in U.S. leadership and credibility. They would adapt by hedging their bets, moving away from alignment with a United States no longer willing to promote and defend the liberal world order that it had sustained since 1945. The evidence for this hedging would be in adjustments by U.S. allies to their approaches toward geopolitics, economics, and climate change.

One year after Trump’s inauguration, the liberal order has not collapsed. But it is in distress as the president turns his back on the world the United States made to embrace a nationalist and isolationist foreign policy. Although they still hope that Trump’s

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