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This article is part of a special report, The Global Election.
A second term could set Trumpism in concrete
In the middle of a devastating pandemic, recurring nationwide protests and a bitter presidential election — not to mention the president’s own COVID-19 diagnosis — Americans can be forgiven for losing track of what Donald Trump’s presidency has meant beyond their borders. But the list of changes he has wrought abroad is not short.
A world order designed to function through slow consensus and underwhelming compromise, on a good day, has had virtually no coping mechanism for the American president’s disruption. In the name of putting America first, Trump has pulled out of one global deal after another, unpredictably reversing course on some of America’s biggest global priorities and moral commitments. He has snubbed democratic leaders and longtime allies while cozying up to Vladimir Putin and other autocrats. While the most important Western institutions — NATO, the European Union, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization — are still standing, it’s an open question whether they will be able to survive another four years of pummeling and disinvestment by the world’s superpower.
So, what really happens if the world gets a second Trump term? Over the past few months, POLITICO reporters in the United States and Europe spoke to experts and decision-makers around the world about what they expect to happen on issues ranging from defense to trade, public health to climate, if Trump is reelected.