Factbox-Trump’s foreign policy: rethink NATO, troops to Mexico, boost tariffs

By Gram Slattery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican former President Donald Trump is planning to fundamentally alter America’s relationship with Europe should he win a second term in office. On the campaign trail, he has also floated sending armed forces into Mexico to battle drug cartels and slapping expansive tariffs on friends and foes alike.

Here is a look at the foreign policy proposals Trump has pledged to institute should he win the 2024 presidential election:


Trump has said that under his presidency, America would fundamentally rethink “NATO’s purpose and NATO’s mission.” He has also said that he would ask Europe to reimburse the United States for “almost $200 billion” worth of munitions sent to Ukraine.

Trump cut defense funding to NATO toward the latter part of his time in office, and he frequently complained America was paying more than its fair share.

On the war in Ukraine specifically, he has called for de-escalation, frequently claiming that he would have the conflict resolved in 24 hours, though he has put forward few tangible policy proposals.


Trump frequently threatens to implement major new tariffs or trade restrictions on China – as well as on some European allies.

His proposed Trump Reciprocal Trade Act would give him broad discretion to ramp up retaliatory tariffs on countries when they are determined to have put up trade barriers of their own. He also floated the idea of a 10% universal tariff during an August interview, which could disrupt international markets.

Trump has also called for an end to China’s most favored nation status with respect to America, a status that generally lowers trade barriers between nations. He has vowed to enact “aggressive new restrictions on Chinese ownership of any vital infrastructure in the United States.”

Trump rarely discusses Taiwan, or what he would do if China were to invade, beyond saying that China would never dare to invade if he were president.


Trump has said that he would designate drug cartels operating in Mexico as foreign terrorist organizations, and that he would order the Pentagon “to make appropriate use of special forces” to attack cartel leadership and infrastructure, which would be unlikely to get the blessing of the Mexican government.

He has also said he would deploy the U.S. Navy to enforce a blockade against the cartels and that he would invoke the Alien Enemies Act to deport drug dealers and gang members in the United States.

Civil rights groups and Democratic senators have pushed for the repeal of that act, passed in 1798, which gives the president some authority to deport foreign nationals while the country is at war.


After first criticizing Israeli leadership in the days after its citizens were attacked by Palestinian militant group Hamas on Oct. 7, he has since said that Hamas must be “crushed.” While his rhetoric has been bellicose, he has proposed few policy solutions, beside saying he would be tougher on Iran, which is closely linked to groups classified by the U.S. as terrorist organizations, including Hamas.

Trump also said at a recent rally that he would seek to deport all resident aliens who are Hamas sympathizers.


Trump has said on the campaign trail that he would demand Afghanistan return military equipment abandoned by the U.S. military during its 2021 withdrawal as a condition for keeping aid money flowing into country.

He had said in 2021 that he would attempt to bomb the abandoned equipment, but he has not repeated that position lately.


Trump has repeatedly pledged to pull out of the Paris Agreement, a multilateral accord meant to limit greenhouse gas emissions. He did pull out during his term in office, but America rejoined the accord under Democratic President Joe Biden in 2021.


Trump has pledged to build a state-of-the-art missile defense “forcefield” around the United States. He has not gone into detail, beyond saying that the Space Force, a military branch that his administration created, would play a leading role in this process.

(Reporting by Gram Slattery; Editing by Daniel Flynn)