¿Cómo los EE.UU. Restaurará su Liderazgo Mundial Después del Retroceso que Trump Causó?
Por: Álvaro Castillo
Presidente y Fundador de ESPACIOH
Licenciado en Ciencias Políticas-Salve Regina University
Estudiante de Maestría en Seguridad Global y Estudios Estratégicos-Johns Hopkins University
American global leadership has been in decline due to President Trump´s protectionist, nationalist, and polarizing anti-American policies, resulting in a dramatic retreat of U.S. cooperation across borders which can only be reverted once President-elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Trump managed the COVID-19 crisis, both locally and abroad, with negligence and a reckless approach, whereas Biden has promised that the pandemic will be his priority, as well as to deliver and distribute the vaccine for the world. In fact, “Biden would also likely support collaborative international efforts to develop and ensure the equitable allocation of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, rejecting the “vaccine nationalism” of his predecessor” (Patrick, 2020). Amid an international crisis, the world needs a strong and united America, a hegemon capable of leading the globe with active diplomacy and indisputable willingness to aid humanity as a whole. America has historically promoted international liberalism and peace; “just as institutions can mitigate fears of cheating and so allow cooperation to emerge, so can they alleviate fears of unequal gains from cooperation” (Keohane & Martin, 1995, p. 45). Trump´s hostile policies towards immigrants have portrayed a negative image of the U.S. abroad as a divided nation that does not welcome other cultures. However, Biden will embrace intrinsic American democratic values that will reinstate U.S. leadership overseas, promoting peace and international cooperation through western multilateral institutions.
American international cooperation has undergone a major decay worldwide, which has been exacerbated in the last four years due to President Trump´s “America First” policies and his unwillingness to cooperate abroad. Political and economic nationalism have been on the rise in the U.S., accelerating America´s retrenchment from international cooperation; “An AidData study found that total Chinese foreign aid assistance between 2000 and 2014 reached $354 billion, nearing the U.S. total of $395 billion. China has since surpassed annual U.S. aid disbursals” (Cooley & Nexon 2020). Trump cut funds in 2019 from the State Department and USAID destined for development projects around the world “estimated to be $2 billion to $4 billion of funding” (Wong, 2019). Moreover, Trump has not had any major triumph in foreign policy; he has addressed migration challenges with inhumanity, retrenched from globalization, started trade wars with China, and ignited civil unrest with incendiary racist comments. In contrast, Biden will embrace America´s diversity, promising to legalize Dreamers, stop deportations in his first one hundred days in office, and provide Temporary Protected Status to Venezuelan refugees. Trump´s isolationist and anti-globalist policies are inconsistent with Americans, who promote “active international involvement on behalf of human rights” (Donnelly, p. 200, 2013). U.S. foreign aid will be renovated once Biden becomes president and starts controlling the COVID-19 crisis and spreading American democratic values overseas.
Trump´s mismanagement of the pandemic both in the United States and abroad, along with his antagonistic stance against international institutions, weakened America´s leadership position in the world order. President Trump has faced the pandemic with imprudence and incompetence, leading America to a nationwide failure that is projected internationally with its current fragile leadership. The U.S. has reported more than 21 million cases with “total deaths surpassing 357,000, one in every 914 U.S. residents has died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began” (Caspani & Szekely, 2021). Moreover, before the pandemic, Trump had already retreated from critical international accords, such as the Paris Agreement, and criticized international institutions such as NATO, the United Nations, and especially the World Health Organization during this sanitary crisis. Thus, in this era of multipolarity, various developing nations have sought the assistance of other great power states more willing to cooperate both before and during the pandemic, such as Russia and China. These revisionist countries have created their international institutions and alliances, such as the New Development Bank, the BRICS, the Belt and Road Initiative, China-CELAC, AIIB, and EAEU. The Red Cross Society of China also assisted Europe during the pandemic. However, Biden understands that western international institutions are indispensable to address the COVID-19 crisis, the world economic recovery, and the fair distribution of a vaccine; “Institutions can facilitate cooperation by helping to settle distributional conflicts and by assuring states that gains are evenly divided over time” (Keohane & Martin, 1995, p. 45). Biden will overturn Trump's pandemic setbacks.
Trump does not fully uphold American Exceptionalism; hence anti-democratic nations continue to gain world influence while the U.S. retrenched from its military duties across the world. America is no longer the “global police” it used to be. Military presence overseas is vital to safeguard America´s national interests. Since World War II the U.S. has provided global order through steady leadership and commitment to assuming its hegemonic responsibilities abroad. Moreover, “analysts believe that the United States can still turn this around, by restoring the strategies by which it, from the end of World War II to the aftermath of the Cold War, built and sustained a successful international order” (Cooley & Nexon, 2020). Biden´s agenda will focus on uniting the country, rebuilding the nation´s infrastructure and its healthcare system while promoting clean energy worldwide and strategically participating in international conflicts only if deemed necessary. Biden will improve America´s moral legitimacy and its global leadership to revert Trump´s chaotic legacy.
Today, U.S. international cooperation is undergoing global decay due to Trump's nationalist policies, which undermined American leadership overseas. America´s global dominance can be restored under the Biden presidency, embracing decency, generosity, and justice. Trump left a void in international politics that is menacing the American hegemony, debilitating western institutions during the pandemic, and empowering rogue states,“ the rise of great powers such as China and Russia, autocratic and illiberal projects rival the U.S.-led liberal international system” (Cooley & Nexon, 2020). America´s foreign policy has been based on solidarity and cooperation throughout history, crucial aspects that Trump neglected and that Biden will bring back to build a brighter future for the world.
President-elect Joe Biden won `fair and square´ the 2020 elections, yet Trump refuses to accept defeat, instead, he has decided to ignite hate and white supremacy insurgency across the United States. Although Trump obtained significant economic achievements during his tenure, he will go down in history as one of the worst presidents of all time because of the social divisions he created among Americans. Trump is the first president since the Great Depression to lose the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the presidential reelection. He was never a real conservative, he does not embody the ideals of the Republican Party, and he does not represent American democratic values. The American people voted Trump out of power to elect Joe Biden as their new president, and that action by itself will be enough to restore America´s global leadership. A new beginning will start for the United States and the world on January 20 once Biden is sworn in as president and the Trump nightmare finally comes to an end.
Caspani, M., & Szekely, P. (2021, January 06). U.S. tops 21 million COVID-19 cases with record hospitalizations as states ramp up vaccinations. Retrieved January 06, 2021, from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-idUSKBN29B23B
Cooley, A., & Nexon, D. (2020, August 03). How Hegemony Ends. Retrieved November 04, 2020, from https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/united-states/2020-06-09/how-hegemony-ends
Jack Donnelly, “Human Rights and Foreign Policy,”, in Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice, Third Edition, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2013. 
Patrick, S. (2020, October 26).
What a Biden Win Would Mean for the Future of Multilateralism. Retrieved November 05, 2020, from https://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/articles/29165/what-a-biden-win-would-mean-for-the-future-of-multilateralism
Robert Keohane and Lisa Martin, “The Promise of Institutionalist Theory,” International Security 20, No. 1 (Summer, 1995). 
Wong, E. (2019, August 07). U.S. Orders Freeze of Foreign Aid, Bypassing Congress. Retrieved November 07, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/07/us/politics/foreign-aid-freeze-congress.html