On what he considers his first real day in office, President Trump’s executive orders targeted several key campaign promises. This series of executive actions focused primarily on trade with some impact on federal hiring.
Say Goodbye to the TPP
The first of President Trump’s executive orders was to unilateraly withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This partnership had 12 signatory countries, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. The deal affected import taxes on nearly 18,000 goods that are traded between the countries. When the deal was signed, tariffs on U.S. manufactured goods and almost all of the farm products produced in the U.S. would be eliminated immediately.
The primary criticism of the TPP was the hint of secret negotiations between governments that would introduce changes without voters being made aware of them. Others say that the entire purpose of the TPP was to keep China’s emerging force on the world trade stage at bay. Regardless, with the United States withdrawing as a signatory nation, virtually everyone else involved in the deal agrees that a TPP without the United States and its economic market is a dead deal. Shinzo Abe, the prime minister of Japan, said that without the United States involved, the TPP would be meaningless.
Hello Again, “Mexico City Policy”
Another of President Trump’s executive orders reinstated the “Mexico City policy.” This policy was first signed into order by Ronald Reagan in 1984. It was rescinded by Bill Clinton in 1993 and then re-instituted by George W. Bush in 2001. President Barack Obama killed it again in 2009. All three actions took place within days of the presidents taking office, making this move somewhat expected.
The “Mexico City Policy” requires all foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that receive any type of federal aid to cease performing and promoting abortion as a method of family planning. This includes situations where the abortion services are performed with local government funds that were not received as part of a foreign aid package. This is on top of the Helms Amendment, which since 1973 has prohibited United States foreign aid from being used to provide abortions as a method of family planning anywhere in the world.
The ban applies to any counseling, advice, information, or lobbying on the part of a foreign government to make abortions available or legal. The policy does have an exception built in for abortions done in the cases of rape, incest, or life-threatening conditions.
Other Types of President Trump’s Executive Orders
President Trump also signed a hiring freeze on all federal employees. He was careful to note that this freeze and plan to shrink the federal government did not apply to the United States military.
There have also been hints that President Trump’s next move will be to initiate a renegotiation of the North American Free trade Agreement (NAFTA). This renegotiation or eventual withdrawal from NAFTA was another of Trump’s core campaign promises. This trade agreement between the United States, Canada, and Mexico is aimed at eliminating tariffs on exports and imports between the three signatory countries.
Renegotiation of this treaty is vital if Trump is going to make good on his other campaign promises, particularly one that will implement a substantial border tax on companies that move their production outside of the United States. Trump is quoted as saying the following.
“We want to start making our products again. We don’t want to bring them in, we want to make them here and that doesn’t mean we don’t trade, because we do trade, but we want to make our products here.”
These aren’t actually the first of President Trump’s executive orders. His first was on Friday, January 20, 2017, when he pledged to minimize the financial burdens of repealing the ACA.
What do you think, readers? Is President Trump holding true to his campaign promises? Do you support the withdrawal from the TPP? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]