The president’s hit-’em-where-it-hurts approach to foreign policy is in danger of backfiring as rivals unite against the US

Some US presidents use military force to impose America’s will on other countries. Most prefer traditional diplomacy and negotiation, or else they ask allies to help them get their way. Jimmy Carter and Barack Obama stressed the importance of moral example in projecting global leadership.

Donald Trump does things differently. Since taking office last year, he has repeatedly resorted to draconian economic sanctions and trade tariffs, launching them like missiles at countries and people he does not approve of. Trump did not invent the practice but it has become his foreign policy weapon of choice.

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