Trump Is Restoring America’s Image and the Voters Know It

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After fretting about this country’s international reputation for most of the current century, Americans are now more confident about their role on the world stage than they have been for 17 years.

According to the latest survey from Gallup, 58 percent of U.S. voters “believe the U.S. rates ‘very’ or ‘somewhat favorably’ in the world’s eyes,” which is the most optimistic result Gallup has recorded since 2003.

“The increase in the overall figure is the result of an increase in the percentage of political independents saying the U.S. is rated favorably abroad, up eight percentage points, from 50% to 58%,” Gallup explained.

This sizable shift in perception didn’t just come out of nowhere — it’s a direct result of the new approach that President Donald Trump has brought to U.S. foreign policy, which has strengthened America’s leadership by ending unnecessary conflicts, protected the U.S. economy from unfair trade policies and solved pressing geopolitical challenges through direct diplomacy.

In North America, the president has fulfilled his campaign pledge to renegotiate the outdated North American Free Trade Agreement, replacing it with a reciprocal U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement that is designed to help — not harm — U.S. workers.

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“USMCA is a great deal for all three countries, solves the many deficiencies and mistakes in NAFTA, greatly opens markets to our farmers and manufacturers, reduces trade barriers to the U.S., and will bring all three Great Nations together in competition with the rest of the world,” Trump said last year.

In the Middle East, the president followed through on America’s longstanding pledge to move its embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem, dealt a crippling blow to Syria’s air force in response to its use of chemical weapons, withdrew from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal and initiated peace negotiations with the Taliban in Afghanistan.

More recently, Trump announced his intention to withdraw American forces from Syria after successfully completing the military campaign against ISIS — a move that will ensure long-term stability in the region without requiring our troops to remain indefinitely entangled in unnecessary geopolitical conflicts.

Leaving Syria, however, doesn’t mean that the White House is taking an isolationist approach to foreign policy.

Unlike President Barack Obama, who was notorious for drawing meaningless red lines and failing to enforce them, Trump was serious when he warned Russia about violating the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty last year.

When Moscow ignored Washington’s demand that it stop violating the treaty, Trump pulled out of the agreement, showing Vladimir Putin that his acts of defiance have consequences.

“Russia has not, unfortunately, honored the agreement, so we’re going to terminate the (INF),” the president said when announcing his decision. “We’re going to pull out.”

But perhaps the most significant triumph of the Trump administration is its successful foreign policy approach in Asia. By implementing a set of strategic counter-tariffs against China, Trump introduced real economic uncertainty in Beijing — a key first step toward getting China to repudiate its illegal trade practices.

As impressive as that list of accomplishment is, the Feb. 25 Gallup poll came too early to reflect attitudes toward what is shaping up to be one of this administration’s greatest foreign policy triumphs — the denuclearization of North Korea.

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From our own backyard to the other side of the world, Trump is succeeding where his predecessors failed. With each new foreign policy victory, he strengthens U.S. leadership and earns the respect of allies and rivals alike — and the American people are taking notice.

Christopher Neiweem is the founder of Neiweem Group and an Iraq War veteran.

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