President Joe Biden is undoing several foreign policy successes of the Trump administration for no apparent reason other than radical ideology and political spite.
In each case, former President Donald Trump was able to achieve goals that both parties had long claimed to share. And in each case, Biden has not only hurt the interests of the United States, but reduced the leverage that he might otherwise have had to pursue foreign policy goals unique to his administration. Three examples:
Border policy: President Trump signed agreements with Central American countries that slowed the flow of migrants. In June 2019, he announced a deal with Mexico under which it would deploy troops to its southern border and allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were adjudicated in the U.S. That fall, he reached deals with the “Northern Triangle” countries to keep asylum-seekers home. There is no reason for Biden to have dismantled these humane policies, which kept vulnerable migrants out of the hands of cartels and deterred thousands from undertaking a risky journey (and sending their children to do the same). He could have kept them in place even while changing U.S. immigration policies. Consequently, there has been a massive surge of migrants to the border — especially unaccompanied minors — and there undoubtedly will be more. The reason appears to be that the Biden administration wants more migrants to come north.
Middle East: President Trump signed the Abraham Accords, creating a network of peace deals between Israel and many Arab and Muslim states. Biden has punished many of the key players: raising tariffs on the United Arab Emirates (UAE); withholding arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia; de-listing the anti-Saudi, pro-Iran Houthi militia as a terror group; publishing an intelligence report naming the Saudi Crown Prince as a key player in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi; and appointing the same pro-Iran diplomats who crafted the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. All Biden had to do was continue where Trump had left off, rewarding Arab and Muslim countries that made peace, and maintaining pressure on Iran. But Biden’s foreign policy team, apparently blinded by the conviction that everything Trump did must necessarily be wrong, continues to repeat the mistakes of the Obama administration, which appeased Iran and allowed it to cause regional chaos.
Keystone XL Pipeline: It was understood that Biden would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement — even though the U.S. reduced carbon emissions without it, and experts admitted it would not be enough to make an real impact on the global climate. However, he went further, canceling the permit for the Keystone XL — a pipeline that would have created tens of thousands of “good, paying, union jobs” (to quote Biden’s favorite refrain) on both sides of the border. The pipeline is the cleanest, least carbon-intensive way of transporting oil that will now most likely be moved by rail and by truck. Canada’s Liberal government, under Justin Trudeau, was only too happy to see the project canceled, never mind the economic cost. But all Biden needed to do was leave the Keystone XL in place. Instead, he pursued a symbolic victory to appease radical environmentalists, increasing emissions while killing jobs and undermining America’s hard-fought energy independence.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is How Not to Be a Sh!thole Country: Lessons from South Africa. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.