It’s not impossible to find foreign policy convergence between the Ardern government and the Trump Administration. New Zealand’s Prime Minister recently said her government ‘accepts’ the reasons for the limited use of force against Syria which was led by the United States with contributions from the UK and France. New Zealand and the United States have both endorsed the evolving dialogue between South and North Korea. And while Trump and Kim Jong-Un may not be able to make the region great again, Wellington will have taken some comfort that preparations for their meeting has delayed the chance of violence on the peninsular.
Yet the areas of divergence make for quite a list. In her first major foreign policy speech as Prime Minister Ardern affirmed that a close relationship with the United States was ‘fundamental’ to New Zealand’s foreign policy outlook. But she also pinpointed two specific areas of difference. One was climate change. The Trump Administration’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement stands in contrast to Ardern’s pitch that this issue is the nuclear free movement for her generation.