It’s economics and Trustworthiness Mr. President

At the opening of the NATO meeting, boorish Donald Trump was on full display as he lectured NATO’s Secretary General about Germany’s purchase of natural gas from Russia. Even he should know that is the type of discussion that is best had in private.

When you don’t take time to become familiar with issues, don’t understand history, or have a strategic perspective, it is easy to do dumb things. The President’s ignorance was evident from his lecture about Germany’s buying Russian gas and the Nord Stream pipeline. Germany isn’t buying US LNG for a very simple reason. In an article, Just Business, Sputnik News wrote, “Russian natural gas will remain significantly cheaper in the long run than shipments across the Atlantic. With the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Germany wants to ensure a technologically secure basis for supplies from Russia,” –sputniknews. Does this carry risks and make Germany vulnerable to political manipulation by Russia? Of course, but the same is true for Western Europe which relies on Russian for about 30% of its gas demand.

US exports of LNG are increasing and could become an important source of energy diversification from over dependence on Russia. Achieving that goal takes time and demonstrating that the US is a reliable trading partner. The president’s behavior on trade, NATO, our European allies and his cozying up to Vladimir Putin all go in the opposite direction.

The New York Real Estate model worked from him in real estate dealings but is proving to be counterproductive in international relations. And, bullying eventually ends when those on the other end decide enough is enough and stand up.

Author: billo38@icloud.com

Founder and president of Solutions Consulting which focuses on public policy issues, strategic planning, and strategic communications.

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