What to remember from Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress

The President of the United States made his first speech to the United States Congress on Tuesday. A speech that confirms the nationalist and isolationist vision of Donald Trump.

In his speech to both houses of the US Congress, Donald Trump said he wanted to defend the interests of the United States first. © AFP / Samuel Corum / ANADOLU AGENCY

It was the first speech by the 45th President of the United States to the combined two Houses of Congress. Tuesday evening, Donald Trump hammered home his intention to first defend the interests of the United States before those of the international community, like the program described as nationalist and isolationist on which he was elected.

“My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America”, he launched

In his hour-long solemn speech, the US president only skimmed over issues of diplomacy and defense, focusing his remarks instead on immigration, with a reform he wanted. “positive”. He also urged America’s allies to step up in their defense: “Our foreign policy requires direct, solid and meaningful engagement with the international community.”

The international community invited to fulfill its “financial obligations”

While Donald Trump thundered against an Atlantic Alliance “obsolete”, that he had praised Brexit and criticized the European Union, this time he wanted to reassure the European allies. The tenant of the White House thus promised that Washington would continue to “Strongly support NATO, an alliance forged after two World Wars that overthrew fascism and after a Cold War that defeated communism.”

But as he had underlined during his campaign, the American billionaire reaffirmed that the allies of the United States, in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, must increase their financial efforts to ensure their common defense. “Our partners must meet their financial obligations”, he insisted, alluding to the fact that NATO countries must devote at least 2% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to their military spending.

The shadow of Moscow on alliances

On the other hand, he did not explicitly mentioned Moscow, nor his Russian counterpart Vladimir Poutine with whom he advocates a rapprochement after the cold years of the Obama era. But the Republican president alluded to it when he said he hoped forge “new alliances” and make “new friends”, on condition of “share the same interests”.

“We want harmony and stability, no war and conflict”, promised Donald Trump in a speech with a much more peaceful and conciliatory tone than in the past.

Eradicate ISIS

Furthermore, committing to “protect the nation from radical Islamic terrorism”, the Republican President proposed that the United States “working” with countries “allies” muslims for “demolish” and “eradicate” the Islamic State group, a “abominable enemy“.

“Positive” reform of immigration

As for domestic politics, Donald Trump has taken the example of Canada and Australia to praise a new immigration system conditioned on particular qualifications and professions. A reform “positive”, to “deserved”. “Those who want to enter a country must be able to support themselves financially “, he hammered.

Refurbishment on “the American spirit”

Stingy, finally, in new announcements and explanations on the financing of his projects, the Republican president resumed his major campaign themes, promising to bring back “millions of jobs” or denouncing free trade agreements. Donald Trump thus welcomed the emergence of a “new national pride”, the beginning of a “new chapter of American greatness”.

Republicans, for the first time since 2006, control both the White House and Congress, and their roadmap is full, with health and tax reforms in 2017. But the majority and the president fail to see all the same, especially on the replacement of the reform of health coverage “Obamacare”.

►►► GO FURTHER | The New York Times fact checking after the President’s first speech to Congress:

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