President Trump's second address to the UN General Assembly didn't include any bombshell revelations (like last year's speech where Trump threatened North Korea with nuclear annihilation and referred to Kim Jong Un as 'Little Rocket Man'), but it was just as much of a repudiation of the global order that the UN represents. In a speech that rejected internationalism and embraced the nationalist populism that Trump has long championed, Trump blasted "the ideology of globalism" and multinational organizations like the UN that he said infringe on national sovereignty. During the speech, Trump urged other nations to look out for themselves and their own interests - and allow the US to do the same.
"I honor every nation to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship," Mr. Trump said. "We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.
In a speech that lasted roughly 30 minutes, Trump vowed that the US would "not be taken advantage of any longer" and slammed both its friends and foes for taking advantage of the US's defense spending and its trading largess.
Here are key takeaways courtesy of Bloomberg:
- US pressure on Iran only going to increase, with oil sanctions coming in November.
- Trump sees his "principled realism" in foreign policy paying big dividends since he took office, particularly on North Korea.
- James points out that this speech was studded with messages for his domestic audience, on foreign aid, on higher gas prices, on immigration.
- The US appears to be planning to overhaul foreign aid Trump praised Xi Jinping, but signaled he won't back down on going after China on tariffs.
- One country not mentioned at all really: Russia
And here's an expanded summary of all the main points, courtesy of Sputnik:
Emphasizing the need for a "reinvigoration" of the UN-led Syrian peace process and saying that "our shared goals [in Syria] must be the de-escalation of military conflict along with a political solution," Trump threatened a US military response if Damascus deployed chemical weapons.
Trump praised cooperation between the US and its Gulf allies, saying this cooperation contributed to Daesh's military defeat. "Thanks to the United States military, and our partnership with many of your nations, I'm pleased to report that the bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have been driven" from Iraq and Syria, Trump said.
"We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical Islamic terrorists any funding, territorial support," Trump said.
Trump accused countries of "abusing" the US market's openness, charging some nations with "relentless product dumping, forced technology transfer, and the theft of intellectual property."
In a direct attack on China, Trump pointed to the loss of 3 million US manufacturing jobs to what he referred to as "market distortions." "Those days are over. We will no longer tolerate such abuse," he said.
Noting the world trade system is in "dire need of change," Trump suggested that part of the problem stems from the World Trade Organization's entry standards. "For example, countries were admitted to the [WTO] that violate every single principle on which the organization is based," he said.
OPEC and Energy
Complaining about high oil prices, Trump accused OPEC nations of "ripping off the nations of the world. I don't like it, and nobody should like it," he said.
The president accused Germany of allowing itself to become reliant on Russian energy supplies with the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. "Germany will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course," he said.
"The United States stands ready to export our abundant, affordable supply of oil, clean coal, and natural gas," he added.
Foreign Aid and US Sovereignty
Trump said that his administration was working to ensure that the US provides foreign aid only to those who "respect" the US and are America's friends.
He also said that the US would assert US sovereignty and reject "global governance, control and domination." Telling the Assembly that the US would not "tell other nations how to live," he added that the US expects other countries to "honor America's sovereignty in return."
US Won't Join Global Compact for Migration
Trump told the Assembly that the US would not participate in the Global Compact for Migration initiative. "We recognize the right of every nation in this room to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests, just as we ask other countries to respect our right to do the same, which we are doing. That is one reason the United States will not participate in the new Global Compact on Migration," he said.
Praising what he called a "bold and new push for peace" in the Korean peninsula and saying he appreciates the personal efforts by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in this direction, Trump noted that "sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs."
Boast of "Extraordinary Progress"
"Today I stand before the United Nations General Assembly to share the extraordinary progress we've made. In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country," US President Trump said, while addressing the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York. The president's boast prompted laughter from the audience.
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As one might expect, Trump's comments impacted everything from oil prices to defense stocks:
His comments about OPEC producers conspiring to raise prices sent oil to session highs.
President Trump speaks about the need to lower oil prices, "these horrible prices." Crude rises to session highs right after that. pic.twitter.com/uiarOVNTl9— Lisa Abramowicz (@lisaabramowicz1) September 25, 2018
Defense stocks caught a bid:
Defense stocks catching a bid— Helene Meisler (@hmeisler) September 25, 2018
US benchmarks dropped to their lows of the session after Trump said the US trade deficit with China "is just not acceptable."
S&P 500 DROPS TO SESSION LOWS AS TRUMP SPEAKS AT UN— zerohedge (@zerohedge) September 25, 2018
Trump kept his composure throughout the speech despite his hostile audience, which broke out into laughter when Trump boasted that his administration "has accomplished more than any administration in the history of our country" in just two years.
Trump replies "I didn't expect that reaction but that's okay."
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Watch the full speech via the tweet below:
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Here's a rush transcript courtesy of Vox:
Madam President, Mr. Secretary General, world leaders, ambassadors and distinguished delegates: One year ago I stood before you for the first time in this grand hall. I addressed the threats facing our world and I presented a vision to achieve a brighter future for all of humanity. Today, I stand before the United Nations General Assembly to share the extraordinary progress we have made.
In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country. America is so thrilled. [Laughter] I did not expect that reaction, that is ok.
America’s economy is booming like never before. Since my election we have added $10 trillion in wealth. The stock market is at an all-time high — $10 trillion in wealth, and the stock market is at an all-time high. African-American, Hispanic-American, and Asian-American unemployment have achieved the lowest levels ever recorded.
We have added 4 million new jobs including half a million manufacturing jobs. We have passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history. We have started the construction of a major border wall and we have greatly strengthened border security. We have secured record funding for our military, $700 billion this year and $716 billion next year. Our military will soon be more powerful than it has ever been before.
In other words, the United States is stronger, safer, and a richer country than it was when I assumed office two years ago. We are standing up for America and the American people, and we are also standing up for the world.
We are also standing up for our citizens and for peace loving people everywhere. We believe that when nations respect the rights of their neighbors and defend the interests of their people, they can better work together to secure the blessings of safety, prosperity, and peace. Each of us here today is the emissary of a distinct culture, a rich history, and a people bound together by ties of memory, tradition, and the values that make our homelands like nowhere else on Earth.
That is why America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, and I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs and traditions. The United States will not tell you how to live, work, or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.
From Warsaw to Brussels, to Tokyo to Singapore, it has been my highest honor to represent the United States abroad. I have forged close relationships and friendships and strong partnerships with the leaders of many nations in this room. Our approach has always yielded incredible change. With support from many countries here today, we have engaged with North Korea, to replace the specter of conflict with a bold and new push for peace.
In June, I traveled to Singapore to meet face-to-face with Chairman Kim Jong Un. We had highly productive conversations and meetings. We agreed that it was in both countries’s interest to pursue the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Since that meeting, we have seen encouraging measures that few could have imagined a short time ago. The missiles and rockets are no longer flying in every direction. Nuclear testing has stopped. Some military facilities are already being dismantled. Our hostages have been released. The remains of our fallen heroes are being returned home to lay at rest in American soil. I would like to thank Chairman Kim for the steps he has taken. So much work remains to be done.
The sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization. I want to thank the many member states who helped us reach this moment, a moment that is far greater than people would understand. Their support and the critical support that we will all need going forward, a special thanks for President Moon of South Korea, the prime minister of Japan and the president of China.
In the Middle East, our new approach is yielding great strides and very historic change. Following my trip to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries opened a new center to target terrorist financing. They are enforcing new sanctions, working with us to identify and track terrorist networks and taking more responsibility for fighting terrorism and extremism and their own region.
The UAE [United Arab Emirates], Saudi Arabia and Qatar have pledged millions of dollars to aid the people of Syria and Yemen. They obliged to help end Yemen’s horrible civil war. It is up to the nations of the region to decide what kind of future they want for themselves and their children. For that reason, the united States is working with the gulf corporation counsel, Jordan, and Egypt to establish a strategic alliance so Middle Eastern nations can advance security and stability across their home region. Thanks to the United States military, and our partnership with many of your nations, I am pleased to report that the bloodthirsty killers known as ISIS have then driven out from the territory they once held in Iraq and Syria.
We will continue to work with friends and allies to deny radical islamic terrorists funding, territory or support or means of infiltrating our borders. The ongoing tragedy in Syria is heartbreaking. Our shared goals must be the de-escalation of military conflict along with a political solution that honors the well of the Syrian people. In this vein, we urge the united nations led a peace process be reinvigorated. Rest assured, the United States will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime. I commend the people of Jordan and other neighboring countries for hosting refugees from this very brutal civil war. As we see in Jordan, the most compassionate policy is to place refugees as close to their homes as possible, to ease their eventual return to the heart of the rebuilding process.
This approach also stretches finite resources to help more people, increasing the impact of every dollar spent. Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that is fueled and financed in the corrupt dictatorship in Iran. Iran’s leaders sew chaos, death and disruption.
They do not respect their neighbors, borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, they plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond. The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from the treasury, seized valuable portions and looted the religious endowments to line their own product -- their own pockets to -- and to send their proxies to wage war. Iran’s neighbors have paid a heavy toll for the agenda of aggression and expansion.
That is why so many countries in the Middle East strongly supported at my decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose nuclear sanctions. The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the year since the deal has been reached, the military budget grew nearly 40%.
The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism and fund habit and slaughter in Syria and Yemen. The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody last month, we began re-imposing hard-hitting nuclear sanctions that have been lifted under the Iran deal. Additional sanctions will resume November 5, and more will follow. We are working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially.
We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America” and threatens Israel with annihilation. They cannot possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth, we just cannot do we ask all nations to isolate Iran’s regime as long as its aggression continues and we ask all nations to support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.
This year, we took another significant step forward in the Middle East in recognition of every sovereign states to determine its own capital by moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The United States is committed to a future of peace and stability in the region, including peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. That aim has advanced, not harmed by acknowledging the obvious facts.
America’s policy of principled realism means that we will not be held hostage to old, discredited ideology and experts that have been proven wrong over the years. This is true, not only in matters of peace, but in matters of prosperity. We believe that trade must be fair and reciprocal. The United States will not be taken advantage of any longer. For decades, the United States opened its economy, the largest by far on Earth, with few conditions.
We allowed foreign goods from all over the world to flow freely across our borders. Yet, other countries did not grant us there and reciprocal access to their markets in return. Even worse, some countries abused their openness to manipulate their currency is and get advantage over our country. As a result, our trade deficit ballooned to $800 billion a year. We are systematically renegotiating broken and bad trade deals. Last month, we announced a groundbreaking US-Mexico trade agreement. Yesterday, I stood with president moon to announce the successful completion of the brand-new US-Korea trade deal. This is just the beginning. Many nations in this hall will agree that the world trading system is in dire need of change.
For example, countries were admitted to the World Trade Organization that violates every single principle on which the organization is based while the United States and many of the nations played by the rules, these countries use government run industrial planning and state owned enterprises to rig the system. They engaged in relentless product dumping, forced technology transfer and the theft of intellectual property. The United States lost over thrill million -- 3 million manufacturing jobs and 60,000 factories after China during the WTO. We have wrapped up $13 trillion in trade deficits over the last two decades.
Those days are over. We will no longer tolerate it and we will not allow our workers to be victimized, our companies to be cheated and our wealth to be plundered and transferred. America will never apologize for protecting its citizens. The United States has just announced tariffs on another $200 billion in Chinese made goods. The total so far of $215 billion. I have great respect and affection for the president of China, but I have made clear that our trade imbalance is just not acceptable. The market distortions and the way that they deal cannot be tolerated as my administration has demonstrated, America will always act in our national interests. I spoke before this body last year and warned that the US -- the UN’s human rights council had become a grave embarrassment to this institution. Shielding egregious human rights abusers while bashing America and its many friends.
Our ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, laid out a clear agenda for reform, but despite reported and repeated warnings, no action at all was taken. So the United States took the only responsible course, we withdrew from the human rights council and we will not return until real reform is enacted.
For similar reasons, the United States will provide no support and recognition for the International Criminal Court. As far as we are concerned the ICC has no legitimacy or authority. The ICC claims near universal jurisdiction over the citizens of every country, violating all principles of justice, fairness and due process. We will never surrender America’s sovereignty to an unelected, unaccountable America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism and accept the ideology of patriotism.
Around the world nations must fight against new forms of coercion and domination. In America we believe in energy security, for ourselves and for our allies. We have become the largest energy producer anywhere on the face of the Earth. The United States stands ready to export our abundant, affordable supply of oil, clean coal and natural gas. OPEC and OPEC nations are ripping off the rest of the world and I don’t like it. Nobody should like it. We defend many of these nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil prices, not good. We want them to stop raising prices, we want them to start lowering prices.
They must contribute substantially to military protection from now on. We are not going to put up with it, these horrible prices much longer. Reliance on a single foreign supplier can need -- can leave a nation vulnerable to extortion and intimidation. That is why we congratulate European states such as Poland for leading the construction of a baltic pipeline so that nations are not dependent on Russia to meet their energy needs. Germany it will become totally dependent on Russian energy if it does not immediately change course.
Here in the western hemisphere, we are committed to maintaining our Independence from the encroachment of expansionist foreign powers. It has been the formal policy of our country since President Monroe that we reject the interference of foreign nations to this hemisphere and in our own affairs. The United States has recently strengthened our laws to better screen foreign investments in our country for national security threats. We welcome cooperation with countries in this region and around the world that wish to do the same. You need to do it for your own protection. The United States is also working with partners in Latin America to confront threats to sovereignty from uncontrolled migration. Tolerance for human struggling and human smuggling and trafficking is not humane.
It is a horrible thing that is going on. At levels that nobody has ever seen before. It is very cruel. Illegal immigration funds, criminal networks, ruthless gangs and the flow of deadly drugs. Illegal immigration exploits vulnerable populations and has produced a vicious cycle of crime, violence, and poverty. Only by upholding national borders, destroying criminal gangs can we break the cycle and establish a real foundation for prosperity. We recognize the right of every nation in this room to set its own immigration policy in accordance with its national interests. Just as we ask other countries to respect our own right to do the same.
Which we are doing. That is one reason the united States will not participate in the new global compact on migration. Migration should not be governed by an international body, unaccountable to our own citizens.
Ultimately, the only long-term solution to the migration crisis is to help people build more hopeful futures in their home countries. Make their countries great again. Currently, we are witnessing a human tragedy as an example in Venezuela. More than 2 million people have fled the anguish inflicted by the socialist maduro regime and its Cuban sponsors. Venezuela was one of the richest countries on Earth. Today, socialism has bankrupted the oil-rich nation. And driven its people into abject poverty. Virtually everywhere, socialism or communism has been tried. It is produced suffering, corruption, and decay. Socialism’s thirst for power leads to expansion, incursion, and oppression. All nations of the world should resist socialism and the misery that it brings to everyone. In that spirit, we asked the nations gathered here to join us in calling for the restoration of democracy in Venezuela.
Today we are announcing additional sanctions against the repressive regime targeting Maduro’s inner circle and close advisers. We are grateful for all of the work the united nations does around the world to help people build better lives for themselves and their families. The U.S. Is the world’s largest giver by far of foreign aid. You give anything to us. -- Few give anything to us. That will be headed up by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
We will examine what is working, what is not working, and whether the countries who receive our dollars and our protection also have our interests at heart. Moving forward, we will only give foreign aid to those who respect us and our our friends.
We expect other countries to pay their fair share for the cost of their defense. The US is committed to making the UN more effective and accountable.
I have said many times that the UN has unlimited potential. As part of our reform effort, I have told our negotiators that the United States will not pay more than 25 percent of the UN peacekeeping budget. This will encourage other countries to step up, get involved, and also share in his large burden. We are working to shift more of our funding from assessed contributions to voluntary so that
Only when we each do our part and contribute our share, can we realize the united nations highest aspirations. We must pursue peace without fear, hope without despair, and security without apology. Looking around this hall, where so much history has transpired, we think of the many before us who have come here to address the challenges of their nations and other times.
Our thoughts turn to the same question that ran through all of their speeches and resolutions through every word and every hope. It is the question of what kind of world will we leave for our what kind of nations they will inherit? The dreams that fill this hall today are as diverse as the people who have stood at this podium. And is varied as the countries represented here are.
There is Saudi Arabia where the king and crown prince are pursuing bold new reforms. There is Israel proudly celebrating its 70th anniversary as a thriving democracy in the holy land. In Poland the great people are standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty. Many countries are pursuing their own unique visions. Building their own hopeful futures and chasing their own wonderful dreams of destiny, of legacy, and of a home. The whole world is richer. Humanity is better. Because of this beautiful constellation of nations, each very special, each very unique, each shining brightly in its part of the world.
In each one, we see also promise of a people bound together by a shared past and working toward a common future. As for Americans, we know what kind of future we want for ourselves. We know what kind of a nation America must always be. In America, we believe in the majesty of freedom and the dignity of the individual.
We believe in self-government, and rule of law. We prize the culture that sustained our liberty. A culture built on strong families, deep faith, and fierce Independence. We celebrate our heroes, we treasure our traditions, and above all, we love our country.
Inside everyone in his great chamber today, and everyone listening all around the globe, there is the heart of a patriot that feels the same powerful love for your nation, the same intense loyalty to your homeland , the passion that burns in the hearts of patriots and the souls of nations has inspired reform and revolution, sacrifice, and selflessness. Scientific breakthroughs and magnificent works of art. Our task is not to erase it, but to embrace it. To build with it, to draw on its ancient wisdom and to find within it the will to make our nations greater, our regions safer, and the world better. To unleash this incredible potential and our people, we must defend the foundations that make it all possible. Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived. Democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so, we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished Independence above all.
When we do, we will find new avenues for cooperation unfolding before us. We will find new passion for peacemaking rising within us. We will find new purpose, new resolve, and new spirit flourishing all around us. And making this a beautiful new world in which to live. Together, let us choose a future of patriotism prosperity and pride. Let us choose peace and freedom over domination and defeat.
Let us come here to this place to stand for our people and their nations. Forever strong, forever sovereign, forever just. Forever thankful for the grace and the goodness and the glory of god. Thank you, god bless you, and god bless the nations of the world. Thank you very much.