Secretary of State Pompeo: America First foreign policy is succeeding

An America First foreign policy puts our national interests first

From the earliest days of his administration, President Trump promised the American people that he would put their interests first, and make that pledge the foundation of every foreign policy decision he made. Now, almost four years later, that approach has delivered historic outcomes for the American people. 

It all begins with our vision. An America First foreign policy puts our national interests first, which starts with seeing the world as it is, not as we wish it were.

We saw clearly the Chinese Communist Party’s drive to undermine our economic strength at home and supplant American power and influence worldwide. We understood that North Korea’s nuclear program required unprecedented diplomatic tactics.

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We observed the Barack Obama administration’s failed appeasement of the Islamic Republic of Iran. We perceived greater opportunities for our allies and partners around the world to share the responsibility of upholding security and freedom. 

In each of these situations and in many others, we’ve restored American leadership on behalf of the American people and the free world, especially as regards China.

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The Trump administration has held the ruling Chinese Communist Party accountable for its intellectual property theft and predatory trade practices. We’ve stepped up freedom of navigation patrols in key waterways like the South China Sea. We’ve expelled Chinese spies from our country, as we did when we closed Beijing’s consulate in Houston.

And we’ve rallied allies and partners like Australia, India and Japan to stand up against the threat the Chinese Communist Party and its surveillance arms like Huawei pose to all free nations.

To date, our Clean Network initiative to safeguard the private information of citizens, the intellectual property of companies, and our national security from malign actors like the Chinese Communist Party has been joined by many of the world’s top companies, including more than 60 telecommunications companies designated as Clean Telecos, as well as more than 40 countries with a combined 75% of the world’s gross domestic product outside of China. More businesses and nations are on the way.

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We’ve also worked hard to correct the mistakes of past administrations. America hasn’t become embroiled in new wars. Instead of pursuing the same failed policies toward North Korea, we elicited the first-ever leader-level commitment from Chairman Kim Jong Un to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The Kim regime hasn’t tested a nuclear device since the 2018 Singapore summit.

Instead of continuing the Obama administration’s failed appeasement of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we enacted the most powerful sanctions campaign in history. Tehran’s revenue from oil sales — the regime’s No. 1 source of cash for its terrorist campaigns — is down 90 percent since we withdrew from the ill-conceived Iran nuclear deal in May 2018. And instead of perpetuating open-ended warfare in Afghanistan, we’re helping the Afghan people take the lead in bringing peace to their country, and we’re bringing our troops home. 

Importantly, we have greatly reduced the risk of terrorist attacks, through our own actions and with the help of allies. Our brave warriors have taken out many of the world’s most dangerous terrorists, including Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and Al Qaeda’s Hamza bin Laden.

In the Middle East, we accelerated the campaign to crush ISIS’ fraudulent caliphate alongside the 82-member Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and we have liberated 100% of former ISIS-held strongholds.

America’s leadership in the multilateral space has turned a corner, too.

We are rallying allies and partners to counter China’s exploitation of United Nations agencies and other international bodies for its own benefit.

We’ve encouraged our friends at the Organization of American States to lead the charge to free the Venezuelan people from Nicolas Maduro’s illegitimate socialist grip.

And we believe NATO allies are better able and more willing to deter Russian aggression and focus on new threats like the Chinese Communist Party when every nation is paying its fair share. We’ve convinced our NATO allies to pledge $400 billion in new spending, and the alliance has also armed our freedom-loving friends in Ukraine. 

Seeing the world with clear eyes also means recognizing without hesitation who our friends are. America has no greater friend than Israel — and we’ve reaffirmed that friendship by moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and acknowledging that Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank are not per se inconsistent with international law.

By working with Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain to secure the historic Abraham Accords, we not only cast aside tired thinking on Middle East peace processes, we’ve also taken major steps to create greater regional partnerships for peace, security and prosperity that will bless the American people. And Sudan’s historic end of hostilities and its normalization of relations with the Jewish state on Oct. 23 shows that more progress is on the way.

America also remains in the business of making new friends.

We’re deepening our relationships in the Arctic, in Central and Eastern Europe, in the Caribbean and beyond.

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In Africa, we’re working each day with Sudan’s transitional government, which is turning the page from an Islamist regime that once gave safe harbor to Usama bin Laden. Due to the Trump administration’s leadership and engagement, many American family members of terrorism victims will receive millions of dollars in long-awaited compensation from Sudan.

We’ve also prioritized the release and repatriation of Americans held hostage or wrongfully detained abroad. President Trump has brought home more than 50 hostages and detainees from 23 countries since taking office. We don’t pay ransoms and reward rogue regimes, like the prior administration did. We use our diplomatic tools to convince them to do the right thing.

Finally, the Trump administration knows an America First foreign policy means being unafraid to hold high the American commitment to freedom, especially religious freedom.

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Whether by holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its mass internment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, pledging more than $470 million for Christians and members of other religious minority groups once tormented by ISIS in Northern Iraq, or hosting the largest international religious freedom conference of all time at State Department headquarters, America is leading in defending the unalienable right of all human beings to worship freely. 

An America First foreign policy has advanced American interests, reflected American freedoms, and restored American pride in our nation on the world stage. American leadership is back at the forefront of the foreign policy scene — exactly where it belongs.