Prior to his election in November 2016, President Donald J. Trump's foreign policy outlook was the antithesis of the "Washington playbook": the bipartisan consensus to support allies, free trade, and liberal democratic values across the globe. However, since his inauguration, President Trump has read from a slightly modified script. He affirmed America’s support for Asian allies—particularly Japan—but disappointed many friendly capitals by withdrawing from negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. He alienated China—and unsettled allies—by threatening to use Taiwan as a bargaining chip, but quickly backed down when the extent of Beijing’s displeasure became known. What do these contradictory signals mean? Can—and if so, how—the region anticipate US foreign policy under President Trump? In this roundtable session we will get the perspectives of three leading experts on U.S. foreign policy.
Professor Valerie Hudson is the George H.W. Bush Chair at the Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University. An expert on international security and foreign policy analysis, as well as gender and security, she received her PhD in political science at The Ohio State University. Prof Hudson directs the Bush School’s Program on Women, Peace, and Security. Prof Hudson is currently visiting the Australian National University as a Fulbright Distinguished Chair.
Tom Switzer was until recently a fellow at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, where he has taught undergraduate courses in U.S.-Australian relations and American history and politics. He is a former editor of the Spectator Australia, opinion editor of The Australian, editorial writer at the Australian Financial Review and assistant editor at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC. He also presents two programs—Between the Lines and Sunday Extra—on ABC Radio.
Professor William (Bill) Tow is a Professor of International Relations in the Coral Bell School at the Australian National University. He has previously worked at the University of Queensland and the University of Southern California. Prof Tow received his PhD and MA from the University of Southern California. He has also served as a Visiting Fellow at Stanford University, and a Visiting Research Associate at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London.