France’s Emmanuel Macron has used his speech to the United Nations General Assembly to put the globalist case against the pro-sovereignty, strong borders vision outlined by U.S. President Donald Trump.
At home, the embattled French President is facing tumbling approval ratings,and fierce resistance from rising national populist parties in Italy and Central Europe he has denounced as his adversaries, which are challenging his efforts to cast himself as the main player in European Union power politics.
In global forums like the United Nations, however, Macron remains the poster boy for ‘centrism’, and received a standing ovation from the assembled politicians and bureaucrats for his speech — which read almost like a point by point series of rebuttals to almost every issue raised in the U.S. leader’s address, including national sovereignty, immigration, trade, climate change, the Iran deal, and Israel.
"Nationalism always leads to defeat." French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a fiery rebuke of US policies under Trump at the UN General Assembly, signaling that he is ready to take up the mantle of global leadership usually assumed by a US leader https://t.co/bkfZ7xShdb pic.twitter.com/v5Usc165yU
— CNN (@CNN) September 26, 2018
President Macron, who worked as a Rothschild & Cie financier and then served as economy minister in France’s previous Socialist government before launching his own party, told the UN General Assembly he feared they were witnessing “a crisis of the very foundations of today’s world”.
The Frenchman assured them, however, that even “at a time where our collective system is falling apart, it is most in demand”, stressing his commitment to “multilateralism” and claiming that “nationalism always leads to defeat” — a sharp contrast with his American counterpart’s earlier declaration that “We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.”
Donald Trump: "We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism"
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) September 25, 2018
On borders, President Trump had used his speech to emphasise the way illegal migration “exploits vulnerable populations, hurts hardworking citizens, and has produced a vicious cycle of crime, violence, and poverty”.
He asserted that “Only by upholding national borders [and] destroying criminal gangs can we break this cycle and establish a real foundation for prosperity”, and took the time to praise anti-mass migration Poland — “a great people are standing up for their independence, their security, and their sovereignty”.
President Macron, in contrast, denounced the “fallacious statements made by some in Europe and elsewhere that we would be stronger were we to close our borders” and insisted on “unconditional protection of those with the right to asylum”.
Macron, Merkel Call for ‘Full Force’ EU Integration, Vow Brussels Won’t Tolerate Resistance to Migrant Quotas https://t.co/oBxUQiWbwH
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 12, 2018
The French President was arguably at his most combative on the subject of trade, issuing what appeared to be a coded call for a declaration of economic war on the United States by calling on world leaders to “stop signing trade agreements with those who don’t comply with the Paris agreement” — which would preclude a British-American trade pact after Brexit, or a broader EU-U.S. one, as President Trump pulled out of the climate change treaty in 2017.
Conversely, the Frenchman launched a full-throated defence of dealing with Iran’s theocratic regime, which President Trump denounced as a “corrupt dictatorship” sowing “chaos, death, and destruction” in his own address.
How the Trump administration will respond to Macron’s call for what would amount to an international trade deal boycott of the United States remains to be seen.