US Has Rough Foreign Relations Week

Owen Hewitt

The United States had a difficult week when it came to foreign relations, as the French government recalled its ambassadors to both the United States and Australia in protest after the announcement of a new national security partnership between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. It’s the first time in the history of the longstanding US-France alliance that an ambassador has been recalled back to Paris for consultations. The decision to recall the ambassadors was made by French President Emmanuel Macron. 


The special envoy to Haiti for the United States also resigned after the United States deported refugees from camps on the Mexico-Texas border, migrants who fled political unrest and natural disaster. 


The new national security coalition between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom is aimed to help Australia develop and deploy nuclear-powered submarines, adding to the western military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. While not named in the agreement, some experts have speculated that the move is intended to counter China’s influence in the Indian Ocean and surrounding seas. 


France, which had previously established a defense contract to supply Australia with diesel-powered submarines, stands to lose the equivalent of $66 billion US dollars in the aftermath of the new deal. 


While the French government and media have been very critical of what they see as a selfish deal from the United States, the Biden administration sees the deal as an opportunity to strengthen ties with an ally in Australia, which finds itself increasingly at odds with China. Frustrating the French further, they were reportedly not consulted about the deal before it was made. This conflicts with reports from those within the Biden administration, who said that top US officials communicated with the Macron administration before agreeing to the deal. 


The United States tried to downplay the importance of the decision to relations with the French.


“We have been in close touch with our French partners on their decision to recall Ambassador Etienne to Paris for consultations,” said Emily Horne, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council. “We understand their position and will continue to be engaged in the coming days to resolve our differences, as we have done at other points over the course of our long alliance.”


It continued to be a difficult week in foreign relations for the United States, as the U.S. special envoy for Haiti, Daniel Foote, resigned from his position in protest of the Biden administration’s treatment of Haitian immigrants.


Foote wrote in his resignation letter, “I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti.” 


The decision to resign came after the Biden administration continued a Trump administration public health order that expels migrants without giving them a chance to seek asylum in the United States.


Foote accused administration officials of distorting or ignoring his recommendations on policy and pointed to the fact that Haiti does not have the infrastructure to accept thousands of illegal immigrants. Foote wrote that the Haitian people “simply cannot support the forced infusion of thousands of returned migrants lacking food, shelter and money without additional, avoidable human tragedy.”


Foote described the Haitian state as “failed,” as it is currently failing to provide public services to its citizens. He said that deporting migrants will only cause a greater surge of migrants to U.S. borders in the near future.


“Surging migration to our borders will only grow as we add to Haiti’s unacceptable misery,” Foote wrote. “[Haiti deserves] to chart their own course, without international puppeteering and favored candidates but with genuine support for that course.”