It's been six months since Donald Trump came to office. The expectations he created have, in this time period, turned into disappointments (or according to some, into pleasure) that are inconsistent with his promises.
The truth of the matter is, yes, the country's economy is going well. As a matter of fact, last week, with positive headlines ranging from employment to the stock market, we even saw messages along the lines of, "we are only starting." Of course, there is the matter of separating the Trump factor and the fruits of the heritage from past to present – that's a different issue.
When the public is asked about the achievements of a new president in economy policies, they're not too clear. For example, based on the regularly conducted Quinnipiac University survey, while the rate of those who do not approve of the way Trump runs the economy was 41 percent in February; as of last week this rate reached 52 percent. Opinions turning negative despite positive data also includes strong promises like the tax reform still waiting to become effective. Of course, even though we come across less harsh results in different surveys, detailed results reveal the partially partisan rift in opinion and response between the Republicans and Democrats.
When, in addition to this, we look at all the surveys and read the trend followed in the last six months, it becomes obvious that the zone between "approval-disapproval" is increasingly widening. In this "disapproval" graph with Trump's head held high, there are dynamics other than the economy. While among these the health reform holds a very serious place, we can say the matters concerning foreign policy also stand out.
One of the critical points here which Trump has his eye on is Russia – an issue that has been annoying him lately. Even though the claim that Russia interfered in U.S. elections was absolutely denied by Russian President Vladimir Putin, and sniffed at by Trump, as indicated by surveys, chaos has already erupted and everything has become clouded.
IRAN, KOREA, RUSSIA
While an all-round investigation on the matter is ongoing, we also recently witnessed Trump sign a harsh bill against Russia.
This effort called, “Opposition to America’s Enemies through Sanctions,” as can also be understood from the name, is intensely in relation to Russia, even though it also includes Iran and North Korea. While the bill, which congress brought to Trump with a dominant consensus is berating and sanctioning Russia for both Ukraine and the claim of blemishing the elections, it is also crippling the White House. Hence, the bill states, if the alleviation or removal of the sanctions on Russia by the president is brought to the agenda, “You will have to ask me [congress] first.” It seems the congress thus wanted to prevent the potential drawbacks of the likelihood of the long-debated rapport between Putin and Trump. As for Trump, he is unable to hide neither his criticism nor his displeasure regarding this situation that damaged his authority while saying, “I did it for the sake of my people,” about the bill he unwillingly signed.
As for Russia, we saw that it not only belittled the bill, it also took counter measures and instructed to reduce the number of U.S. diplomats in Moscow. At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson underscored that he was not happy with the decision, while U.S.-Russia relations which were imagined to improve saw the actual damage. Hence, tensions between both sides rose.
While this is the situation, it needs to be highlighted that the reflections of this position taken by the U.S. against Russia is not only bilateral. There are some lines in the bill that concern others and present the likelihood of imposing sanctions on those cooperating with Russia in relation to energy pipelines.
Even if at this point the U.S. uses with care the statement, “in cooperation with our allies,” in the related section of the text, we saw how Europe, which is concerned it might be effected by this risk, displayed its attitude and concerns without wasting any time. European Commission President Juncker who stated that they will not remain indifferent in the case that any sanction is implemented without observing Europe’s interests, stressed that they are ready to retaliate. Of course, he also specifically added, “I believe we are still allies with the U.S.”
In short, while there are recent developments dampening both political and economic relations, the world is lying in an ambush for multi-lateral retaliation.