Donald Trump’s promise to make foreign countries pay up has become a cornerstone of his unofficial 2012 presidential campaign.
So far, it’s resonating with many potential voters.
Trump said he plans to take Iraqi oil to pay for the cost of the US-led invasion and occupation of the country. He also wants to use Iraqi oil to pay for multi-million compensation packages to bereaved US military families and financial assistance packages for wounded US veterans.
He said his idea of taking Iraqi oil has received tremendous praise from his supporters.
On a recent ABC interview, Trump targeted South Korea. He claims that the US defends South Korea from North Korea – including deploying the aircraft carrier USS George Washington – and should therefore be compensated for doing so.
In past interviews, Trump has repeatedly stated that the Arab League should pay for the cost of ousting Moammar Gaddafi from Libya.
“The Arab League tells us to go in and take out Gaddafi. We’ve spent billions of dollars already… because they told us to do it. Why aren’t they paying for it?” said Trump in the ABC interview.
Meanwhile, the US isn’t likely to see any incremental oil from Libya. In fact, the US is a very small importer of Libyan oil. (Italy imports the most, followed by France and China).
Trump also thinks certain members of OPEC, namely Saudi Arabia, should pay for the military protection they receive from the US.
He mentioned that back in 1991, it was a US-led coalition force that liberated OPEC member Kuwait from their Iraqi invaders, implying that US military protection for other OPEC countries like Saudi Arabia are crucial and thus deserves compensation.
On China, Trump wants the country to stop making a $300 billion “profit” (i.e. trade surplus) from the US each year and stop taking US jobs.
He wants China to more fairly value their currency, the yuan, which most experts agree is persistently undervalued. If not, he’ll make China pay a 25 percent import tariff.
Trump’s hawkish stance – undoubtedly benefiting from an environment of rising gasoline prices and the poor jobs market – has so far scored him the top spot in the most recent 2012 Republican presidential nominee poll.