Washington Post: In Australia, Mattis and Tillerson address growing concerns about American isolationism
SYDNEY — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met here Monday with senior Australian officials, stressing that despite the Trump administration’s withdrawal from key environmental and trade agreements, the relationship between their countries will remain strong.
Tillerson, asked what he will do to address “pockets of doubt” about American isolationism under President Trump, said “that’s why we’re here.” Despite Trump withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and then the Paris climate agreement last week, the two countries will remain closely aligned on many issues, Tillerson said.
“In terms of addressing those concerns, this is how we address them: to travel to the region to meet with our counterparts and to talk about all the issues that are important to them, and to hear concerns they have about the administration and its position, relative to whether it be security issues, or economic and trade issues,” he said.
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Update: U.S. looks to reassure allies as concerns grow about American global role (Reuters).
WNU Editor: Is the U.S. becoming isolationist? I think it depends on the issue. On an issue like Afghanistan .... probably an elevated role. As the war nears an end for the Islamic State .... probably a diminished role. On trade .... more bilateral ties and less of a multi-state approach. On issues like global warming, the United Nations, etc. .... a focus on U.S. priorities and concerns and not on what the collective wants.