Where President Trump Stands on ISIS, Russia, China and Other Foreign Policy Issues

A compilation of what we know of the new US president’s foreign policy standpoints.

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump. Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Donald Trump. Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


  • Wants to deport over 11 million undocumented migrants living in the US.
  • Wants to build a 1000-mile wall along the Southern US border to keep out Mexicans, financed by them.
  • Deport criminal non-citizens.
  • Restrict legal immigration.
  • Has called for ending ‘birthright citizenship’, i.e., granting citizenship to anyone born in the US, says it is a magnet for undocumented immigrants.
  • Called for tightening visa norms and wishes for potential immigrants to obtain ‘ideological certification’.
  • Would refuse entry to Syrian refugees and deport those already in the country.


  • Wishes to deploy tens of thousands of troops to battle ISIS.
  • In an interview, Trump said that he is likely to suspend purchase of oil from Saudi Arabia unless it contributes troops to help defeat ISIS.
  • Plans to temporarily suspend immigration from volatile regions that ‘have a history of exporting terrorism’.
  • Wants to create ‘safe-zones’ for Syrian refugees, but wants the Gulf states and Germany to pay for it.

Climate change

  • Does not believe climate change is a real phenomenon. In 2012, he tweeted that ‘global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive’.
  • Wants to rescind Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • Plans to walk away from the Paris climate deal.
  • Plans to permit construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
  • Expand domestic production of oil and gas, and use coal reserves.


  • Would instruct the treasury secretary to label China as a ‘currency manipulator’ for devaluing the yuan.
  • crack down on its ‘theft of U.S. intellectual property’, and expose its various export subsidy practices.
  • Wants to instruct the US trade representative as well as WTO to bring cases against China.
  • Also wants to decrease national debt, lower corporate income tax rate and increase military presence in the Asia-Pacific region in order to have greater bargaining power with Beijing.


  • Questioned the utility of NATO. Trump said that the US pays about 73% of NATO’s total spending, but according to Politico, that figure is just a little above 22%. However, Trump wants other countries as well to increase their defence spending.
  • Is in favour of some of their allies such as Japan and South Korea obtaining their own nukes.
  • He has called for doubling and tripling the sanctions the US had placed on Iran. Has labelled Iran as the biggest sponsor of terrorism.
  • To deter terrorists, he has proposed changing the international rules that forbid the military from using torture as a form of abuse and has also proposed killing of family members of terrorists.
  • Supports disputed counterterrorism measures that include government surveillance and interrogation programs.
  • Has said that he “would support and endorse the use of enhanced interrogation techniques if the use of these methods would enhance the protection and safety of the nation”.


  • Has suggested creating a new alliance with Russia, which might help ease tensions with Syria.
  • Has said that he would honour US treaty commitments under NATO, but has questioned the relevance of it today, terming it as ‘expensive’.