WASHINGTON: Rogue regimes, terrorist groups and rivals like China and Russia are challenging American interests, economy and values, President Donald Trump warned today and promised to rebuild America’s military might to deter any “acts of aggression”.
In his first State of the Union address, Trump said his administration is restoring America’s strength and standing abroad.
“Around the world, we face rogue regimes, terrorist groups, and rivals like China and Russia that challenge our interests, our economy, and our values,” Trump said in his 80-minute speech.
He said America needed unmatched power to tackle these challenges.
“In confronting these dangers, we know that weakness is the surest path to conflict, and unmatched power is the surest means of our defense,” he said and asked the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund the military.
“As part of our defense, we must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it, but making it so strong and powerful that it will deter any acts of aggression,” he said.
Trump also asked lawmakers to “end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military”.
Sequestration is a procedure in United States law that limits the size of the federal budget.
The president expressed hope that in the future there would be a magical moment when the countries of the world will get together to eliminate their nuclear weapons.
“Unfortunately, we are not there yet,” he said.
Trump said last year he pledged that he would work with US allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the Earth.
“One year later, I am proud to report that the coalition to defeat ISIS has liberated almost 100 per cent of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated,” he said.
He said the era of America’s “economic surrender” was over and the US was seeking to enter into new trade agreements with nations that commit to fair and reciprocal trade, apparently referring to China.
“We will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules, he said.
“The era of economic surrender is over. From now on, we expect trading relationships to be fair and to be reciprocal.
We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones, Trump said.
Trump had earlier criticized the one-sided and unfair trade relationship between the US and China and asserted that America must address the unfair trade practices that drive the trade deficit.
Trump said his economic policies are resulting in new confidence in the country.
He also asked Congress to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends. -PTI