Trump’s Legacy From A European Perspective

By Yuri C. Kofner


Neither Trump nor Biden are true friends of Europe and, of course, especially not of China and Russia. But where Trump was a true friend and patriot of the American people and has always put “America First”, Biden will continue to push the globalist agenda, because he knows “neither nation nor peoples” – neither the American one nor any other.

German and European mass media hated Trump as much as the largest American networks did. They called him unpredictable, protectionist and reactionary. And while Trump was never a friend of the Europeans, he was a true American patriot. Paradoxically, this gave Europe a respire to grow up politically and become economically more sovereign. At the same time, his conservative patriotism revived pro-American sentiments among European conservatives. Biden, however, will continue the slow decline of the transatlantic West.

Foreign Policy

Donald Trump was the first US president who for the first time in 40 years didn’t initiate a war of conquest. This is of paramount importance as US military interventions are the main driver behind the European migration crisis. Washington University estimates that the US’ post 9/11 wars forcibly displaced 37 to 59 million people in and out of Africa and the Middle East. Many these refugees immigrated to Europe and Germany.

His “America First” policy meant a return to domestic matters to solve the growing socio-economic problems of the country with which American society is increasingly confronted, including inequality, crime and de-industrialization. At the same time, it meant a stronger focus on regional, i.e. North and South American affairs, e.g. the renewed NAFTA-USMCA agreement, sanctions against Venezuela and the coup d’état in Bolivia.

This policy also included a relative withdrawal from its own military interventionism in Eurasia and a greater emphasis on the “lead from behind” approach, similar to when the ancient Romans relied on their foedarati (allies) to defend the borders of the empire. And in the 21st century, the Europeans are the most important foedarati in the United States.

For the first time since Charles de Gaulle, Europe was given greater freedom of choice in foreign policy. But instead of making greater use of this historic opportunity to create a truly sovereign Europe (of nations), e.g. by creating an independent European army or by rapprochement with Russia, most European politicians who grew up with transatlantic fealty, behaved like a crying child who lost its mother in the supermarket.

Trade Policy

The economic aspect of Trump’s “America First” policy had both positive and negative effects on German and European business interests. One thing is certain, however: his protectionism has never been surprising nor unpredictable. On the contrary, it has been very constant over time. It just did not meet the expectations of the transatlantic elite.

The key element of the America First agenda was to protect the domestic industry and to ensure the welfare of American industrial workers. For this reason, Trump prevented the planned Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In doing so, he has done the Europeans a huge favour, as this agreement would have repealed European food and safety regulations, destroyed European agriculture and made the large US corporate groups even more powerful than they are now.

Of course, Trump’s mercantilist and protectionist approach to foreign trade was not always beneficial for Europe. Based on his criticism of the EU/German state aid for Airbus and the trade surplus in goods with the USA, he imposed punitive tariffs on European aluminium, steel and food products worth USD 7.5 billion. The US threats to German companies and ports over Nord Stream 2 were also less than diplomatic.

What he didn’t mention was that his administration was also heavily subsidizing Boeing, the US itself imported over 190 billion barrels of oil from Russia, and it also had a large trade surplus in services with the EU, largely thanks to the success of the big American digital and platform companies.

Ultimately, the aim of his protectionist methods was to press the other actors into favourable deals with Washington. He finally achieved this in January 2020 in relation to China with the “Phase One Deal” and then with the EU in September of this year.

In this sense, Trump enforced national interests like any other American president, only by other means and without pretending to follow multilateral rules.

His disregard for multilateral agreements is best shown in his blockade of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Together with his protectionist tariff policy, these measures are indeed detrimental to Europe’s exporting nations such as Germany.

In return, however, his actions greatly benefited the American economy. Probably thanks to Trump’s tax reform rather than his external protectionism, but the fact is that the American economy has shown phenomenal growth for a developed industrial nation. According to the IfW Kiel, industrial production in the USA rose by a total of 7.2 percent between 2016 and 2019, and according to the World Bank, its gross domestic product grew by an average of 2.5 percent annually. For comparison: In the same period, the growth of German industrial production was negative, and the German GDP grew by an average of only 1.5 percent each year.

Culture Politics

Before and after Trump, US soft power accompanied the military and economic imperialist agenda of the United States with, paradoxically, a rather anti-Western narrative.

Therefore, from an international perspective, the most important aspect was that in the ongoing “culture war”, Trump took the side of defending traditional Christian values against the postmodern “progressive” agenda.

Although Trump fought against the overwhelming pressure of the mass media, omnipotent digital giants (Google, Facebook), neo-Marxist indoctrinated universities and NGOs and ultimately failed to bring the conservative camp to victory, thanks to Donald Trump, the support of conservative national values around the world can no longer to be viewed as an anti-American insurrection per se. In this way he created a mass of benevolent pro-American conservative supporters in Europe and elsewhere.

His criticism of uncontrolled mass immigration (instead of controlled intelligent immigration) and of racist/sexist and de-facto Maoist identity politics such as “Black Lives Matter” and gender quotas (instead of the simple but fair Christian principle of individual merit) will provide the conservative movements in Europe with much intellectual nourishment in the years to come.

And although Trump displayed eccentric, almost caricature-like behaviour and was exposed to relentless media allegations, he could never be accused of being a paedophile. However, there are strong indications for this in relation to Biden and his son, e.g. the Epstein case and Hunter Biden’s personal correspondence found on his laptop.


With Biden as president, one can expect the United States to resume its path as a declining Transatlantic empire with a more aggressive stance on hard power, trade, and values.

In the political arena, we can expect a more active renewal of US military interference in the Eurasian states, especially in Ukraine, where Biden’s son has direct financial interests, but also in Turkey and Ethiopia. This will lead to a further destabilization of the eastern and southern neighbourhoods of Europe, to even more refugees, and to even higher “maintenance costs” for military, social and foreign aid to be borne by European taxpayers.

In economic terms, we will see the signing of a renewed “TTIP 2.0” treaty, which will underpin Europe’s economic vassalage dominated by the large American tech companies and which will complete the step towards a bipolar world order between a Transatlantic economic union and a China-oriented Eurasian heartland.

In the cultural sphere, the foreign soft power of the United States will be shaped by a self-destructive left-wing ideology according to which oppressed races, genders and sexual minorities must overthrow the “evil white Western patriarchal oppressor”. As usual, universities, Hollywood, and Silicon Valley will be the strongest advocates for this movement. Although it claims to have the moral right to interfere in Europe and around the world in order to allegedly defend the human rights of various groups, it will do little, as usual, against the terrifying persecution of Christians, women and homosexuals in various Muslim countries.

Neither Trump nor Biden are true friends of Europe and, of course, especially not of China and Russia. But where Trump was a true friend and patriot of the American people and has always put “America First”, Biden will continue to push the globalist agenda, because he knows “neither nation nor peoples” – neither the American one nor any other.

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