Розділ: Повідомлення

How the presidential candidates see top foreign policy issues 

washington — An aggressive Russia, an emboldened China, a tempestuous Middle East and the fragile global relationships needed to confront these challenges are major foreign policy issues neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump can dodge if either wins November’s election.

As the two men hold their first presidential debate on Thursday, they’ll likely use their talking points to paint a picture of the role they want the United States to occupy on the world stage.

The difference couldn’t be starker, said Jeremi Suri, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

“Biden’s approach is a combination of liberal internationalism and forceful realism, echoing the Cold War,” he said. “Trump’s approach is a combination of isolationism and unilateralism, echoing the United States before World War II.”

Here’s a look at how they view major foreign policy hot spots.

Russian aggression

Biden’s administration sounded the alarm ahead of Russia’s February 2022 invasion and has vowed to support Ukraine “as long as it takes.” But that support faltered this year, when congressional Republicans stalled for six months on a $61 billion aid package.

At the NATO summit in Washington in July, Biden will seek to boost allies’ support for the conflict while passing Ukraine coordination duties to allies in Europe — moves seen as insulating the conflict from a hostile U.S. Congress or future president.

Trump’s view of the conflict is complicated, contradictory and colored by his own experience with that nation’s leader. It was, after all, a July 2019 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that sparked his first impeachment. A majority of the Republican-dominated Senate acquitted him of the charges that he improperly sought help from a foreign power to boost his reelection chances by asking Zelenskyy to help him discredit Biden politically.

On the war, Trump told a recent interviewer, “I will have that settled prior to taking the White House as president-elect.”

Analysts say he hasn’t made clear how.

“He advocated only for the need to start some types of talks and negotiations, and he said that he could be willing to engage in these negotiations between [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and Zelenskyy, but he never specified the design of the future outline of this peace agreement,” said Sergiy Kudelia, an associate professor of political science at Baylor University.

Biden recently assured Zelenskyy that their new 10-year bilateral security agreement serves as “another reminder to Putin: We’re not backing down. In fact, we’re standing together against this illegal aggression.”

But this tough stance is not limited to Biden, analysts say.

“We do know that Trump perceives himself as a strongman and does not want to be associated with foreign policy failure,” former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst told VOA.” And a Russian victory in Ukraine, if Trump is president, would look very much like a foreign policy failure.”


Chinese ambition

Biden’s mantra on Beijing is “competition, not conflict” — and economic statecraft is Washington’s tool of choice in this high-stakes game. This narrowed view of the relationship with China ties into what a consistent majority of Americans identify as a top election priority: the economy.

In May, Biden highlighted the risks he believes China poses, by imposing steep tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, batteries, solar cells, steel, aluminum and medical equipment.

“American workers can outwork and outcompete anyone as long as the competition is fair,” Biden said. “But for too long, it hasn’t been fair. For years, the Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese companies. … It’s not competition, it’s cheating.”

And Trump, a self-professed fan of tariffs, recently proposed a tariff on all imported goods and another levy of 60% or more on Chinese imports.

On China, professor Konstantin Sonin of the University of Chicago said, both men are aggressive. Biden, analysts note, has not reversed many of the Trump administration’s tough tariffs on China.

“Eight years ago, it sounded as if he would be a very different kind of U.S. president,” he said of Trump. “But actually, he was not that different. And a lot of things that Trump did were then continued by the Biden administration.”

But on Taiwan, where the policy of American “strategic ambiguity” comes into play — the idea that Washington refuses to signal how it would react if Beijing were to invade Taiwan — this hits different, depending upon who’s in charge, Sonin said.

“I think that these are still very different presidents,” he said. “For example, if it escalates around Taiwan, then perhaps Donald Trump would react differently.”

But, he added, further emphasizing Trump’s rhetoric, “In foreign policy, sometimes he sounds harsher than he acts. And this is true in respect to China, not only China [but] with respect to Mexico, as well.”

Middle East malaise

Trump’s ambivalence and use of superlatives come wildly into play when it comes to the Middle East. While Biden has publicly styled himself as Israel’s strongest supporter — yet increasingly publicly letting slip that he is often annoyed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the war in Gaza rages on — Trump’s personal relationship with the Israeli leader seems to shape his view of the region.

“I had a bad experience with Bibi,” Trump said, using the prime minister’s nickname, in a wide-ranging April interview with Time. “And it had to do with [the U.S. strike that killed Iranian military officer Qasem] Soleimani, because as you probably know by now, he dropped out just before the attack. …  And I was not happy about that. That was something I never forgot. And it showed me something.”

But then in May, when Biden pledged to withhold weapons from Israel if its forces were to launch a major ground assault on the highly populated Gaza city of Rafah, Trump fired back.

In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump described Biden’s words as “taking the side of these terrorists, just like he has sided with the Radical Mobs taking over our college campuses.”

Here, Trump uses a particular rhetorical trick: using one issue — in this case, Israel — to bring up a keyword — “terrorism” — that polls say is a top voter concern, and then using that to reach back to domestic issues. In this case, he noted growing campus protests over the war in Gaza with loaded language that appeals to voters’ feelings.

Americans’ top foreign policy issues, as documented by the Pew Research Center, appear to be focused through the same, particular lens that also seems to motivate voters: fear.

“The majority of Americans say preventing terrorist attacks (73%), keeping illegal drugs out of the country (64%) and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction (63%) are top priorities,” the group said in its most recent roundup of Americans’ foreign policy priorities. 

But then, Pew says: “Even with these priorities, foreign policy generally takes a back seat to domestic policy for most Americans.”

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By Polityk | 06/25/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

How Biden, Trump differ over Ukraine policy

U.S. presidential candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump meet Thursday for the first of their two scheduled debates. Russia’s war on Ukraine is expected to be one of the top foreign policy questions. VOA’s Tatiana Vorozhko looks at how the two candidates differ in their approach to Ukraine.

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By Polityk | 06/24/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

On thorny issues, Trump, Biden campaigns hold their ground ahead of debate

The first of two U.S. presidential debates in this year’s contest will take place Thursday. But the candidates’ rhetoric around sensitive topics such as immigration and former President Donald Trump’s recent hush money trial conviction is already heating up. VOA’s Veronica Balderas Iglesias reports.

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By Polityk | 06/23/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

Trump backs Ten Commandments in all schools, urges Christians to vote 

washington — Donald Trump told a group of evangelicals they “cannot afford to sit on the sidelines” of the 2024 election, imploring them at one point to “go and vote, Christians, please!” 

Trump also endorsed displaying the Ten Commandments in schools and elsewhere while speaking to a group of politically influential evangelical Christians in Washington on Saturday. He drew cheers as he invoked a new law signed in Louisiana this week requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed in every public school classroom. 

“Has anyone read the ‘Thou shalt not steal’? I mean, has anybody read this incredible stuff? It’s just incredible,” Trump said at the gathering of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. “They don’t want it to go up. It’s a crazy world.” 

Trump a day earlier posted an endorsement of the new law on his social media network, saying: “I LOVE THE TEN COMMANDMENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PRIVATE SCHOOLS, AND MANY OTHER PLACES, FOR THAT MATTER. READ IT — HOW CAN WE, AS A NATION, GO WRONG???” 

The former president and presumptive Republican presidential nominee backed the move as he seeks to galvanize his supporters on the religious right, which has fiercely backed him after initially being suspicious of the twice-divorced New York City tabloid celebrity when he first ran for president in 2016. 

That support has continued despite his conviction in the first of four criminal cases he faces, in which a jury last month found him guilty of falsifying business records for what prosecutors said was an attempt to cover up a hush money payment to porn actor Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 election. Daniels claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump a decade earlier, which he denies. 

Trump’s stated opposition to signing a nationwide ban on abortion and his reluctance to detail some of his views on the issue are at odds with many members of the evangelical movement, a key part of Trump’s base that’s expected to help him turn out voters in his November rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden. 

But while many members of the movement would like to see him do more to restrict abortion, they cheer him as the greatest champion for the cause because of his role in appointing U.S. Supreme Court justices who overturned national abortion rights in 2022. 

Trump highlighted that Saturday, saying, “We did something that was amazing,” but the issue would be left to people to decide in the states. 

“Every voter has to go with your heart and do what’s right, but we also have to get elected,” he said. 

While he still takes credit for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Trump has also warned abortion can be tricky politically for Republicans. For months, he deferred questions about his position on a national ban. 

Last year, when Trump addressed the Faith & Freedom Coalition, he said there was “a vital role for the federal government in protecting unborn life” but didn’t offer any details beyond that. 

In April of this year, Trump said he believed the issue should now be left to the states. He later stated in an interview that he would not sign a nationwide ban on abortion if it was passed by Congress. He has still declined to detail his position on women’s access to the abortion pill mifepristone. 

About two-thirds of Americans say abortion should generally be legal, according to polling last year by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 

Attendees at the evangelical gathering on Saturday said that while they’d like to see a national abortion ban, Trump isn’t losing any of their deep support. 

“I would prefer if he would sign a national ban,” said Jerri Dickinson, a 78-year-old retired social worker and Faith & Freedom member from New Jersey. “I understand though, that as in accordance with the Constitution, that decision should be left up to the states.” 

Dickinson said she can’t stand the abortion law in her state, which does not set limits on the procedure based on gestational age. But she said outside of preferring a national ban, leaving the issue to the state “is the best alternative.” 

John Pudner, a 59-year-old who recently started a Faith & Freedom chapter in his home state of Wisconsin, said members of the movement feel loyal to Trump but “we’d generally like him to be more pro-life.” 

“I think a lot, you know, within the pro-life movement feel like, well, gosh, they’re kind of thinking he’s too far pro-choice,” he said. “But because they appreciate his Supreme Court justices, like that’s a positive within the pro-life community.” 

According to AP VoteCast, a wide-ranging survey of the electorate, about 8 in 10 white evangelical Christian voters supported Trump in 2020, and nearly 4 in 10 Trump voters identified as white evangelical Christians. White evangelical Christians made up about 20% of the overall electorate that year. 

Beyond just offering their own support in the general election, the Faith & Freedom Coalition plans to help get out the vote for Trump and other Republicans, aiming to use volunteers and paid workers to knock on millions of doors in battleground states. 

Trump on Saturday said evangelicals and Christians “don’t vote as much as they should,” and joked that while he wanted them to vote in November, he didn’t care if they voted again after that. 

He portrayed Christianity as under threat by what he suggested was an erosion of freedom, law and the nation’s borders. 

He returned several times during his roughly 90-minute remarks to the subject of the U.S.-Mexico border and at one point, when describing migrants crossing it as “tough,” he joked that he told his friend Dana White, the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, to enlist them in a new version of the sport. 

“‘Why don’t you set up a migrant league and have your regular league of fighters. And then you have the champion of your league, these are the greatest fighters in the world, fighting the champion of the migrants,'” Trump described saying to White. “I think the migrant guy might win, that’s how tough they are. He didn’t like that idea too much.” 

His story drew laughs and claps from the crowd. 

Later Saturday, Trump plans to hold an evening rally in Philadelphia. 

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By Polityk | 06/23/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

Gaza war divides Democrats in New York primary

How a U.S. congressional district north of New York City votes in the June 25 primary race could reveal how much the war in Gaza is on the minds of Americans. The outcome could inform Democrats trying to regain control of the House of Representatives in November. Veronica Balderas Iglesias explains.

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By Polityk | 06/22/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

Trump departs from anti-immigrant rhetoric with green card proposal

Miami, florida — Former President Donald Trump said in an interview posted Thursday he wants to give automatic green cards to foreign students who graduate from U.S. colleges, a sharp departure from the anti-immigrant rhetoric he typically uses on the campaign trail.

Trump was asked about plans for companies to be able to import the “best and brightest” in a podcast taped Wednesday with venture capitalists and tech investors called the “All-In.”

“What I want to do, and what I will do is, you graduate from a college, I think you should get automatically as part of your diploma a green card to be able to stay in this country. And that includes junior colleges, too, anybody graduates from a college. You go there for two years or four years,” he said, vowing to address this concern on day one if he is elected president in November.

Immigration has been Trump’s signature issue during his 2024 bid to return to the White House. His suggestion that he would offer green cards — documents that confer a pathway to U.S. citizenship — to potentially hundreds of thousands of foreign graduates would represent a sweeping expansion of America’s immigration system that sharply diverges from his most common messages on foreigners.

Trump often says during his rallies that immigrants who are in the country illegally endanger public safety and steal jobs and government resources. He once suggested that they are “poisoning the blood of our country.” He has promised to carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if elected.

Trump and his allies often say they distinguish between people entering illegally versus legally. But during his administration, Trump also proposed curbs on legal immigration such as family-based visas and the visa lottery program.

Right after taking office in 2017, he issued his “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, directing Cabinet members to suggest reforms to ensure that business visas were awarded only to the highest-paid or most-skilled applicants to protect American workers.

He has previously said the H1-B program commonly used by companies to hire foreign workers temporarily — a program he has used in the past — was “very bad” and used by tech companies to get foreign workers for lower pay.

During the conversation with “All-In,” Trump blamed the coronavirus pandemic for being unable to implement these measures while he was president. He said he knew of stories of people who graduated from top colleges and want to stay in the U.S. but can’t secure visas to do so, forcing them to return to their native countries, specifically naming India and China. He said they go on and become multibillionaires, employing thousands of workers.

“You need a pool of people to work for your company,” Trump said. “And they have to be smart people. Not everybody can be less than smart. You need brilliant people.”

In a statement released hours after the podcast was posted, campaign press secretary Karoline Leavitt said: “President Trump has outlined the most aggressive vetting process in U.S. history, to exclude all communists, radical Islamists, Hamas supporters, America haters and public charges. He believes, only after such vetting has taken place, we ought to keep the most skilled graduates who can make significant contributions to America. This would only apply to the most thoroughly vetted college graduates who would never undercut American wages or workers.”

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By Polityk | 06/22/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

Trump, Biden woo voters on TikTok. Will it make a difference?

President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump agree on few things, but a ban of the Beijing-based social network TikTok is one of them. Now with a presidential election at stake, both are joining the platform they previously attempted to take down. Will it make a difference on Election Day? Tina Trinh reports.

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By Polityk | 06/21/2024 | Повідомлення, Політика

НБУ заборонив використання кредитних коштів для участі в азартних іграх

20 квітня президент України Володимир Зеленський своїм указом увів в дію рішення Ради національної безпеки й оборони «Щодо протидії негативним наслідкам функціонування азартних ігор в мережі Інтернет»

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By Gromada | 06/21/2024 | Повідомлення, Суспільство