Last updated on 20th Oct. 2017
While I think the language is perhaps too aggressively critical in this New York Times Editorial Board article: Under Mr. Trump, America Surrenders, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/opinion/trump-america-international-surrender.html, dated 16th Oct. 2017, I think the article does capture serious concerns about USA under President Donald Trump, withdrawing from or reducing the global leadership role that it has played since World War II.
[Update on 20th Oct. 2017. Readers may please visit my blog post: Transcript of USA Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's remarks on USA-India relationship for next 100 years; My comments, http://ravisiyermisc.blogspot.in/2017/10/transcript-of-usa-secretary-of-state.html, 20th Oct. 2017. The blog post clearly shows that USA administration of President Trump is NOT withdrawing from a leadership role in the Indo-Pacific. USA seems to be moving to more of shared responsibility between leading democracies of Indo-Pacific area (USA, India, Japan and Australia) to ensure freedom of navigation, and compliance of international law and rules based international order. This seems to contradict some part of the New York Times editorial board article, as well as my comments in this post based on that article. I have chosen not to correct/update my comments below (I think I have used the word perhaps in the comments below to indicate that I could be wrong), except in one place where I changed "is withdrawing" to "seems to be withdrawing".]
Perhaps that's what Mr. Trump and his base want. They seem to want to withdraw USA from global leadership role as they perhaps think that will be good for USA in terms of jobs and economy. But I think the New York Times Editorial Board has got it right when it says in the article that such an approach "cedes influence and the investment opportunities that go with it to ambitious nations like China that are only too happy to fill the role".
In other words, I think that a retreating USA from global leadership would mean lesser USA influence in trade and jobs worldwide than earlier. The benefits of global leadership seem to have been this influence in trade and jobs worldwide. And, from whatever one reads and views, I agree that ambitious China would be very happy to step into that global leadership role with its surplus funds, huge manpower & industrial expertise, and enjoy the benefits of having an influential role in trade and jobs worldwide. Russia is a major nuclear and armed forces power and its profile seems to have become bigger in the global scenario, over the past few months.
Now I am not saying anything about whether such a changing global leadership scenario may be good for the world or not. Perhaps China may be able to infuse its extraordinary economic growth story into the economic stories of the countries that it gets deeply involved with. Perhaps China may then stir economic growth and prosperity in many countries over the world. That would be a good thing for those countries, I guess. Similarly, a larger Russian role may prove beneficial for some countries.
And perhaps USA that is freed from the burden of global leadership, may turn out to be good from economy and jobs perspective for the "forgotten" USA people who catapulted Mr. Trump to power as President. I mean, I honestly don't know, as of now, whether such an approach (USA withdrawing from global leadership role) will be good or bad for USA economy and jobs.
But what seems to be very, very clear, nearly ten months now into Mr. Trump's presidency, is that the global leadership scenario has already changed quite significantly. Which countries OR groups of countries, will now slide into bigger global leadership roles, is something that I guess will emerge clearly, over the next few years. China and Russia seem to be sure to play larger global roles, now that USA seems to be withdrawing from/reducing its global leadership role.