Trump condemns ‘globalists’ in nationalistic speech at UN
President hits out at China trade practices and Iran, but says America does not want war
US president Donald Trump presented a strong denunciation of globalism in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, as he hit out at the global trading system and defended his immigration policy.
“Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their own country first,” Mr Trump declared. “The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots.”
“If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation,” he said.
Addressing a packed chamber in New York, Mr Trump hit out at the system of global trade, arguing that the World Trade Organisation “needs drastic change”. He criticised a system that has allowed China “to game the system at others’ expense”, accusing China of a litany of unfair trade practices.
China has “embraced an economic model dependent on massive market barriers, heavy state subsidies, currency manipulation”, as well as “forced technology transfers and the theft of intellectual property, and also trade secrets on a grand scale”, he said. Nonetheless, he said that the United States does want to strike a trade deal with Beijing.
Remarking that “globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders”, he declared: “As far as American concerns those days are over.”
Outlining a policy of “national renewal”, he said that “an ambitious campaign to reform international trade” was at the centre of America’s vision.
“For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in bad faith. As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”
As expected, Mr Trump addressed the ongoing tensions with Iran in his pre-prepared remarks. Describing the Iranian regime as the “world’s number one state sponsor of terrorism”, he said that “one of the greatest threats to peace-loving nations is the regime in Iran”.
He warned that as long as Iran continues to pose a menace, “sanctions will not be lifted, they will be tightened”. But he said that America does not want war, noting that some of America’s closest friends today were “once our greatest foes”.
“We want partners, not adversaries,” he said. “While anyone can make war, only the most courageous can choose peace.”
“The United States does not seek conflict with any other nation. We desire peace, co-operation, and mutual gain with all. But I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”
Amid signs that Britain, France, Germany and other signatories to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal are considering a revised accord, Mr Trump warned that “all nations have a duty to act. No responsible government should subsidise Iran’s blood lust.”
But Mr Trump also set out what he said is his administration’s respect for human rights, in an apparent slight to Arab nations with repressive regimes against members of the LGBTQ communities.
“My administration is working with other nations to stop criminalising of homosexuality. And we stand in solidarity with LGBTQ people who live in countries that punish jail or execute individuals based upon sexual orientation.”
Mr Trump also raised the ongoing political impasse in Venezuela, highlighting the sanctions the administration has placed on the Maduro regime, cutting off financial support for the regime.
Criticising the Maduro government, he said: “America will never be a socialist country”, noting what he said was the death and destruction that socialism and communism has brought.
Mr Trump was the second leader to address the opening of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, following Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro.
Like the US president, Mr Bolsonaro painted a dramatic picture of the scourges of socialism. He also warned that any international support for the Amazon rainforest must respect Brazilian sovereignty.