Speed Reads

hurricane harvey

Countries are hesitating to offer Houston aid apparently over the thorny question of 'helping Trump'

Hurricane Harvey has not elicited the same offers of aid and assistance from foreign countries as Hurricane Katrina did in 2005, and part of that hesitancy could stem from nations grappling with the impression of helping President Trump, Politico reports. "Foreign governments are holding back, and that hasn't been the case historically," said Hoover Institution visiting fellow Markos Kounalakis. "They appear to be much more cautious, whether it's for domestic political reasons or displeasure with President Trump. Do they want to be seen as helping Trump?"

Trump has alienated many in the international community with his "America First" approach, and some analysts told Politico this could be the reason for the "relative dearth of global goodwill." Several countries have nevertheless stepped up with offers of aid, including Mexico, Venezuela, and Taiwan. Such offers — and offers of aid in general — tend to be politically motivated because "there's actually very few areas where the United States needs foreign assistance," explained the Heritage Foundation's James Carafano.

More offers of aid could still come in, especially as the damage of Hurricane Harvey becomes clearer in the coming weeks. "Foreign governments generally tend to distinguish between the American people and the American government, and many would want to help suffering U.S. residents even if they don't like their president," Politico writes. Read the full report here.