Impact 2016

A non-partisan initiative by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition to advance America's role in the world.

Donald Trump

"The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed, humanity itself, but to play that role, we must make America strong again."

Donald Trump has said that his foreign policy views have been informed by his overseas business experience and meetings with world leaders. He has described himself as “not isolationist, but I am America first,” and has said that he would renegotiate traditional American alliances like NATO if allies were not willing to increase their share of the military or financial burden.

Calling himself the most “militaristic person you will ever find,” Trump has said that to be successful, the United States must be respected, which will require a stronger military with “the best weapons ever.” At the same time, Trump has said, “War and aggression will not be my first instinct,” and that, “You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy.” His foreign policy platform has focused on immigration, like having Mexico pay for building a wall along the border with the United States.

Following Trump’s April foreign policy speech, he weighed in our nation’s humanitarian and foreign assistance programs for the first time in a FOX interview. He noted “if we don’t help” countries facing disasters, then it would create “bigger problems.” On help to countries like Pakistan, he said “we don’t want to see total instability,” adding that the alternative could be more expensive and end up on the “other side of the ledger… could really be a disaster.” In the case of assistance to countries struggling with poverty, Trump said he would “try to keep some of these countries going” while underscoring the domestic and fiscal challenges facing the U.S.

When asked whether or not he would commit to doubling the number of people receiving HIV/AIDS treatment worldwide through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Trump said, “Yes, I believe so strongly in that and we’re going to lead the way.”

On the other hand, Trump said in his speech announcing his presidential candidacy that the United States should “stop sending foreign aid to countries that hate us” and to spend the funds domestically to “invest in our infrastructure… our tunnels, roads, bridges and schools.” He has called development investments in Iraq and Afghanistan wasteful and that the funds should be used to “rebuild the United States.” When asked whether he would support military intervention on humanitarian grounds, Trump responded affirmatively, but added that it would depend on the national security implications for the U.S. and “how friendly they’ve been toward us.”

Top image and candidate icon, Flickr: Gage Skidmore / CC

In His Own Words

“War and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy… truly signs of strength.”

April 26, 2016
Washington, DC
Donald Trump Flickr: 80038275@N00 / CC

“With Afghanistan, I want to build our country. You know in Afghanistan, they build a road. At the end of this beautiful road, they build a school. They blow up the school; they blow up the road; we then start all over again. And in New Orleans and in Alabama we can’t build schools. I want to rebuild the United States.”

April 1, 2011

Did You Know?

  • In 2015, Donald Trump was awarded the ‘Liberty Award’ at the ‘Algemeiner Jewish 100 Gala’ in honor of his positive contributions to U.S.-Israel relations.