By Benoît Gomis
Other than a wall at the border with Mexico, Donald Trump promised little to address drug trafficking in the Americas during last year’s U.S. presidential campaign. Two months into his presidency, it is clear that the Trump administration’s disengaged and military-first approach to the drug trade could bring more volatility to the region.
On March 13, the White House released “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” which raises more questions and concerns than solutions on many issues, including the drug trade. It notably recommends a $54 billion increase in military spending, proposes reduced funding to the “UN and affiliated agencies,” and requests a $10.1 billion budget cut for the Department of State and USAID—a 28 percent decrease from current levels. In his introductory message to Congress, Trump declared that, “It is time to prioritize the security and well-being of Americans, and to ask the rest of the world to step up and pay its fair share.”
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