Then on Sunday, when United Nations members reached agreement on a 2018-2019 budget of $5.4 billion, Ms. Haley issued a statement emphasizing the American role in achieving more than $285 million in cuts, along with hints of more reductions to come.
“We will no longer let the generosity of the American people be taken advantage of or remain unchecked,” Ms. Haley said. In future negotiations, she said, “you can be sure we’ll continue to look at ways to increase the U.N.’s efficiency while protecting our interests.”
It was certainly not the first time Ms. Haley had hinted at using America’s financial leverage to get its way at the United Nations. When she first took the job last January, she warned that “you’re going to see a change in the way we do business.”
And Secretary General António Guterres has said that some parts of the organization must become more efficient.
But the link between American largess and political sympathies at the United Nations has been a recurring theme for Mr. Trump, who once described the 72-year-old organization created after World War II as a sad social club that had squandered its potential.
Many among Mr. Trump’s base of supporters regard the organization as suspiciously anti-American. When the $285 million budget cut was reported on Monday in Breitbart News, a media group that supports Mr. Trump, reader responses were ebullient, with some arguing that America’s entire contribution should be rescinded.
Critics of Mr. Trump’s approach to the United Nations argue that American coercion can work against the United States, by subverting respect for the agreed-upon protocol for financial contributions. They say Mr. Trump should not expect others to follow his lead just because the United States wields the biggest monetary cudgel.
“The hallmark of this administration is not paying attention to the benefits that the United States actually gets in a rule-bound system with international institutions,”…