In his first two years in the White House, President Trump has moved to remake America’s relations with much of the world.
He’s withdrawn the U.S. from the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, and major international trade deals, all of which he says were bad for Americans. He’s placed tariffs* on imported steel and aluminum—angering longtime allies like Canada, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. At the same time, President Trump has thrown himself into high-level negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an effort to remove the threat of Kim’s nuclear weapons.
At the heart of all these initiatives is Trump’s “America First” philosophy: He aims to prioritize the national security and economic interests of the U.S. ahead of solving other countries’ problems. Critics, however, argue that by stepping back from its global responsibilities, the U.S. risks relinquishing its leadership role in world affairs.
“Trump’s approach to foreign policy is a total departure from everything we’ve done since the Second World War,” says James Goldgeier, a professor of international relations at American University in Washington, D.C.
Here’s a look at the five nations likely to dominate Trump’s foreign policy agenda as we head toward 2019—Iran, Russia, China, North Korea, and Mexico—and the challenges each poses for the U.S.
*Tariffs are taxes on imports or exports.