The 2020 Election’s Effect on US Foreign Policy

   Professor Pevehouse then went on to outline some of the largest foreign policy facing us now:

Jon PevehouseThis week, UW-Madison Professor Jon Pevehouse provided an analysis of the Trump Administration’s major foreign policy initiatives and how the outcome of this past November’s election is affecting American foreign policy going forward. The Professor started by commenting on the two overarching differences between the present administration and the last: 1) Staffing: President Trump understaffed diplomatic roles and left many gaps, signaling our priorities. President Biden has since ramped up diplomatic staffing; and 2) Stability: Under the last administration, foreign policy could change with a tweet. Under the current administration, that will not be the case, which will lend itself to increased foreign trust.

   Professor Pevehouse then went on to outline some of the largest foreign policy facing us now:

  • China – Tensions between the U.S. and China are higher than they have been in some time, due to the self-proclaimed Trade War that President Trump imposed. Currently, we are part of Phase 1 Deal, as China agreed to buy certain supplies from America. They have not kept their part of the bargain to date, so President Biden needs to consider next steps. He will likely try to work with other countries to get help, rather than go it alone. Other issues around China include security in the South China Sea and Human Rights violations.
  • Middle East – There has been much back and forth regarding our involvement with the Iran Nuclear Deal over the past administrations, and Prof. Pevehouse sees this continuing into the future, since incentives to reach an agreement going forward simply aren’t there for Iran.
  • Europe – Although it would seem natural that America and the EU would have better relations than we did under the Trump Administration, it likely won’t be lockstep immediately. The EU and China have a deal that allows them a leg up on investing in China, which they’d need to give up if they wanted to work closer with the U.S. again. Hopefully over time, this will improve.
  • COVID-19 – The World Trade Association is trying to find middle ground regarding importing and exporting vaccine, as they hope to balance intellectual property and access. They are currently looking at licensing the vaccine to other countries so they can be manufactured locally.

   The presentation today really illustrated the connectedness of the world and helped to illustrate the different perspective of the respective administrations.

   Our thanks to Prof. Jon Pevehouse for his presentation this week and to Jessika Kasten for preparing this review article.  If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here:


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