Donald Trump:ツウィッターがなかったら今の私はいなかっただろう。 政権を担うのは彼が思っていたよりも大変だが、大統領はそのやり方とか課題に対して挑戦的だ。(2)

China, the rising power in the region, is a vital potential partner in helping to contain neighbouring North Korea. Yet before assuming office, Mr Trump made a point of speaking to the incoming Taiwanese president. The exchange cast doubt on America’s commitment to the “One China” policy under which Washington recognises Beijing as the sole legal government of China. 


However, Mr Trump told Mr Xi last month that he would honour the policy and is studiously polite about his soon-to-be guest. “I have great respect for him. I have great respect for China. I would not be at all surprised if we did something that would be very dramatic and good for both countries.” 


Many experts worried that President Trump would be dangerously volatile on foreign policy. But the combination of some strong figures in his national security team, particularly James Mattis, defence secretary, and the calming role of Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s influential son-in-law, appears to be steadying the ship. Mr Trump has stopped speaking about moving the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, while reviving talk about a possible two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and softening criticism of Nato allies. One constant is that he resolutely refuses to say a bad word about Mr Putin.  


While Mr Trump never apologises, he is capable of Protean shifts. In his interview with the Financial Times, he is keen to make clear he has no grudge against Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, having apparently declined to shake hands with her in front of the cameras in the Oval Office.  


 “I had a great meeting with Chancellor Merkel,” Mr Trump says. “I shook hands about five times and then we were sitting in two seats . . . and I guess a reporter said ‘shake her hand’. I didn’t hear it.”  

On Brexit, he is similarly anxious to dispel suggestions that the US would happily countenance a break-up of the EU. Asked if he thought other nations were likely to follow the UK, Mr Trump says: “I would have thought when it happened that more would follow, but I really think the European Union is getting their act together.” 


No bluffing on trade
On trade policy, too, Mr Trump appears to be more practical than many observers first assumed. Having berated Mexico as the chief source of illegal immigration and unfair trading practices under the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta), the administration is shifting gear. For example, Wilbur Ross, commerce secretary and long-time friend, is seeking to resolve a longstanding dispute over sugar, aware that failure would embolden Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, a radical left-winger running for Mexican president in 2018.  


Mr Ross, who joined the interview, cautions that people should not underestimate Mr Trump. “Tough rhetoric is certainly useful in the lead-up to negotiations, but the president isn’t bluffing,” he says. 

If his foreign policy is less revolutionary than first feared, Mr Trump’s domestic agenda remains controversial. He was propelled to office on a populist wave as Republicans, and enough blue-collar Democrats, rallied to his cause, abandoning Hillary Clinton, the establishment favourite. In his “Carnage in America” inaugural speech, Mr Trump paid homage to his supporters declaring that “the forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer”. 


The president has championed the cause of US manufacturing, cajoling foreign and US corporations to think again about locating jobs and factories in America. However, the self-styled dealmaker is finding governing harder than he imagined, even though the Republican party enjoys majorities in the House of Representatives and Senate.  


Things began to unravel when he sought to use executive powers to control immigration — with both the first and second attempts blocked by the courts. More significant was the recent setback in efforts to replace the Obamacare healthcare law.  


Republican leaders abandoned a vote after failing to win enough support to pass a hastily assembled bill. “I didn’t want to take a vote. I said why should I take a vote?” says Mr Trump, who pledged to repeal Obamacare as soon as he took office. Asked how he felt about the setback, he is still sore: “Yeah, I don’t lose. I don’t like to lose.” 

take a vote:投票する

He stresses that Republican lawmakers are still trying to reach a deal. But he says it “would be fine” if the Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline conservatives who are fierce opponents of Obamacare and also unhappy with the first bill, remain holdouts.  


China's President Xi Jinping meets with Donald Trump on Thursday for a summit that is expected to focus on trade and North Korea c AFP

“If we don’t get what we want, we will make a deal with the Democrats and we will have in my opinion not as good a form of healthcare,” says the president. “But we are going to have a very good form of healthcare. It will be a bipartisan form of healthcare.” 

The White House initially viewed Obamacare reform as “the key to unlocking the door”, and generating the funds necessary to make it easier to draft the first major US tax reform legislation since 1986 as well as a new $1tn infrastructure programme. Now, however, it is unclear how the administration can craft tax legislation that would satisfy fiscal conservatives by not raising the deficit. 

Mr Trump is holding his cards close. “I don’t want to talk about timing. We will have a very massive and very strong tax reform,” he says. Left unsaid is that his team is desperately looking for new ways to finance tax cuts, which need to be revenue-neutral to pass in the Senate with a simple majority.  

plày [hòld, kèep] one's cárds close to one's [the] chést [vést] ⦅話⦆計画[考え]を隠しておく, 手の内を見せない.

Unless Mr Trump can salvage healthcare reform, he will hit his first 100 days in office without any big-ticket successes. His choice of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court was applauded by Republicans, but Democrats are threatening to block a vote in the Senate. 


His advisers are working on ways to bypass Congress — mainly through a series of executive orders and other actions. This is what Steve Bannon, the top White House strategist, ominously calls “the deconstruction of the administrative state”.  


Mr Bannon has set up a “war room” in the West Wing where he has listed all of Mr Trump’s campaign pledges on a large whiteboard. The billion-dollar questions are whether Mr Trump can translate those pledges, especially the one to “Make America Great Again”, into practical policy, and whether he can keep his business interests separate from official business.  

Mr Trump is keen to dispel any misleading parallels in world history. After posing in front of Andrew Jackson, the first populist US president, he escorts his guests to an adjoining room where a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt hangs, whom he praises as a game-changing president. While true, one visitor gently reminds Mr Trump that there is a crucial difference. TR boasted of carrying a big stick, but he also made a virtue of speaking softly.  





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