Trump Wields Influential Grip on Foreign Policy

Trump urged his fellow Republicans to separate the issues of border security and foreign aid…reports Asian Lite News

With nine months remaining until the presidential election, Donald Trump’s influence on U.S. foreign policy is already palpable as he endeavours to shape America’s global stance while eyeing a return to the White House. Despite having been a private citizen since 2021, Trump is actively campaigning for re-election and exerting pressure on his party to reject a bill that links stringent border security measures to $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.

In a characteristic social media post, Trump urged his fellow Republicans to separate the issues of border security and foreign aid, emphasizing, “Don’t be STUPID!!! We need a separate Border and Immigration Bill. It should not be tied to foreign aid in any way, shape, or form!” His stance sets the stage for a potential rematch against President Joe Biden in November, highlighting the stark contrast between their approaches to international affairs.

Biden has consistently emphasized the importance of aiding Ukraine in its standoff against Russia, viewing it as essential for global security. Conversely, Trump champions an isolationist “America First” policy, advocating for a disengagement from international entanglements.

Domestically, Biden has advocated for a more compassionate immigration policy. However, Republicans have seized upon record-high migrant apprehensions, particularly the surge of 302,000 in December alone, as a central issue in the upcoming campaign—an issue Trump has skillfully exploited.

The demand to tie military aid for Ukraine to immigration reform originated from Republicans, with Trump keen on drawing parallels between the border crisis and perceived chaos abroad, which he claims he could have prevented.

Despite bipartisan efforts to pass a $118 billion package encompassing immigration restrictions and foreign aid for Ukraine and Israel, Trump’s influence remains potent. His sway over House Republicans, coupled with his repeated calls to scuttle the legislation, poses a significant challenge to Biden’s agenda and threatens to deny Democrats a pre-election victory.

While some House Republicans express reservations about derailing the deal, Trump’s overwhelming support in early primaries solidifies his control over the party, with over 150 members of Congress now endorsing his candidacy.

The bill faces a crucial test in its first procedural vote, expected on Wednesday, requiring the support of 60 senators in a closely divided chamber. Even if it clears this hurdle, House Speaker Mike Johnson, who maintains regular communication with Trump, has indicated that the bill is unlikely to advance in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has underscored the significance of approving the $60 billion aid package for Ukraine, warning that the country’s progress in its struggle against Russia could be jeopardized without U.S. support.

Critics view Trump’s opposition to the bill as yet another instance of prioritizing his electoral ambitions over national security concerns, particularly regarding Ukraine. Trump’s previous actions, such as withholding military aid to Kyiv in 2019, have raised questions about his commitment to U.S. alliances and international obligations.

Influential think tanks, including the Eurasia Group, have warned that a Trump victory in November could undermine NATO and lead to a withdrawal of U.S. support for Ukraine, causing widespread concern among European nations, especially those on NATO’s eastern flank. Such a scenario could have profound implications for global security and stability.

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