Here's How the Rest of the World Responded to Trump's New Global Policy

April 13th 2017

Mike Rothschild

This week, President Donald Trump dramatically reversed his policies regarding the United States' approach to the rest of the world.

Then, the rest of the world responded.

Even with a presidency full of reactions to "evolving issues," these latest changes were both rapid and startling. In some cases, he went back on stances he'd held for years, and claimed he wasn't going to do things that he promised to do on his first day in office.

For example, he went back on four years of rhetoric calling China a currency manipulator, including his promise that the Treasury Department would blacklist Beijing on day one of his presidency, when he told the Wall Street Journal that the Chinese are "not currency manipulators."

The Chinese media made their feelings known with old-fashioned mockery.

British journalist and author Brian Klass dredged up Trump's old tweets on the subject, and there were a lot of them.

And another British political commentator, Edward Hardy, called out Trump for the China flip-flop.

Trump's change in tune on global policy wasn't limited to China.

Despite years of dire warnings about the risks of U.S. intervention in Syria, Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on an air base last week in response to the Assad government's alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Naturally, his previous tweets were brought up against him, with Klaas noticing Trump's complete reversal on his Syria stance.

RT, the typically pro-Trump Russian state media outlet, seemed confused about the president's newly aggressive stance toward the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

German newspaper Bild called Trump "the 180 degree reversal president."

And it wasn't just foreign outlets excoriating Trump. Plenty of American commentators got in on the act, as well.

A comic by artist Tom Toles suggested that Trump was making up his strategy as he went along.

And artist David Horsey called Trump's Syria policy an "unguided missile."

Artist Chan Lowe's April 7 comic showed Trump being literally dragged around by world events. 

In another example, after a year of calling NATO "obsolete" for not fighting terrorism — a disputable stance he held as recently as January — he suddenly reversed course this week by declaring that the historic alliance was "not obsolete."

Journalists and analysts around the world harshly ridiculed the flip-flop.

German Newspaper Der Spiegel highlighted "the five major U-turns of Donald Trump."

The cumulative effect of a week of flip flops left even press secretary Sean Spicer struggling to explain the president's abrupt changes on core policy issues.

As the Atlantic's David Graham asked in his own column on this issue, if even Spicer can't explain Trump's policies, "how is anyone else to do so?"