Ending regulations on shale energy and coal, signalling the country’s intention to exit the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and targeting cyber-attacks, these are the issues that top the list of Donald Trump’s plans for his first 100 days in the Oval Office. In a YouTube video, Mr Trump discussed how he intends to address trade, energy, regulation, national security, immigration and ethics-related issues during the early days of his presidential term. Contending that his agenda is based on the idea of “putting America first,” the president-elect intends to bring jobs and production back to the United States.
On November 21, President-elect Donald Trump announced his plans for the first hundred days in office. In a video address, he outlined his priorities in his quest to “put America first.” Trump’s list focused on steps he could take with executive actions, avoiding the need to go through the US Congress. There was no mention of building a wall along the Mexican border. There was nothing about repealing Obamacare. But President-elect Donald Trump has plenty to do in his first 100 days in office. Let’s have a look at his plans:
1. Withdraw from TPP
Trump intends to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, following through on a campaign promise that struck a chord with many working-class US voters. He said that he was going to issue a note of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, calling it “a potential disaster for our country”. Instead, he would “negotiate fair bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back”.
The move will shatter President Barack Obama’s aim of strengthening US influence in Asia and could leave the Western world’s trade agenda in disarray. The TPP, which was aimed at linking the US economy with 11 countries around the Pacific, took years to negotiate.
It is important to mention here that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a 12-nation trade pact that would cut tariffs and deepen economic ties between the signatories. It also aims to simplify regulations and copyright laws so that member countries would have a more or less unified system. In its most lofty form, it could create a new single market, similar to the European Union, with the current signatories comprising about 40% of the global economy.
It is widely seen as a counter to China’s economic might in Asia, and the world’s second largest economy is notably absent from the list of signatories. The 12 countries that signed the deal in February 2016 are the US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Mexico, Peru and Chile.
China notably declined to sign the deal. There have been protests against the TPP in the United States, New Zealand and Japan. Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has already warned that the TPP would be “meaningless” without US participation.
2. Cancel environmental restrictions
Throughout his campaign, Trump was consistent in his promise to reduce environmental restrictions. Now he is vowing to deliver on that with a plan to “cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy, including shale energy and clean coal” and to create “many millions of high-paying jobs.” His promises include actions like “cancelling” the Paris agreement and dismantling the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as repealing restrictions on domestic energy development.
Trump would “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, which was ratified in November and requires a three-year notice period to quit. The president-elect has said he would also cut all money spent on climate change aid to developing nations and slash clean energy funding.
The election of an apparent climate change denier to the US presidency has caused consternation among scientists and overseas climate negotiators, but some have voiced hope that Trump will follow a more pragmatic path that will avoid political fallout over the issue.
The Paris agreement was always likely to fall far short of its goal of limiting global warming to within 2°C of pre-industrial temperatures. A more recalcitrant America puts the prospect of deep decarbonisation even further off. And evidence that Mr Trump’s America is withdrawing from its global role is worrying.
3. Affordable Care Act
One of the hallmarks of Donald Trump’s campaign was a promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a legislative milestone of President Obama’s administration. In his “Contract with the American voter” the president-elect vowed again to repeal the ACA within the first 100 days of his administration. There is no doubting his intentions. But, it would strip over 20 million Americans of their health insurance. However, he has not provided specifics on how he might replace the programme.
Since its enactment in 2010, Republicans have rallied several times to repeal the ACA. Now backed by a Republican-led Congress, Trump has vowed to permit states to sell health insurance across state lines to allow competition, dismantle Medicaid and turn it into a grant programme administered by the states, and increase the accessibility of Health Savings Accounts.
Although Trump’s administration could make aspects of the ACA difficult for those trying to enroll, experts believe a full legislative repeal, requiring 60 Senate votes, on day one or even in the first 100 days, is unlikely. Moreover, without a proper replacement plan in place, a repeal or substantial reconciliation bill will certainly be met with outrage from both the public and health advocacy organizations.
Guard against cyberattacks
Trump says he will establish a cyber-review team made up of members of the military, law-enforcement agencies and private sector.
He wants to audit the security of the federal government’s computer systems and strengthen the hacking division of the US military.
Trump also wants to “develop the offensive cyber capabilities we need to deter attacks by both state and non-state actors and, if necessary, to respond appropriately.”
The US government is credited with having some of the most dangerous hacking tools on the planet.
During the final weeks of his campaign, Trump outlined big plans for his first week in office when it came to immigration.
Trump told his supporters that his plan “ends illegal immigration and suspends immigration from terror problem regions.” He also said that he would “stop illegal immigration [and] deport all criminal aliens.”
In his latest video speech, Trump says he will “investigate all abuses of visa programmes that undercut the American worker.” However, he didn’t mention the stand-out campaign promise to build a wall along the US border with Mexico.
In October, Trump said he would call for a two-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for those who illegally re-enter the US. He also suggested a five-year minimum sentence for those with prior felony convictions, multiple misdemeanors or two or more previous deportations.
At the moment, there is no mandatory minimum but undocumented immigrants who seek to re-enter the US can face up to two years in prison. Those with felonies face up to 10 years behind bars.
5. Enact lobbying bans
Rounding out his vision for his first 100 days in office, Trump further said he would formulate a rule to eliminate old regulations when new ones are made; impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists and a lifetime ban on them lobbying on behalf of foreign governments; and direct the Department of Labor to investigate abuses of visa programmes that undercut American workers.
Trump’s promise to “drain the swamp,” has focused his ire on lobbyists. The promise goes back to Mr Trump’s goal of making sure that people aren’t using the government to enrich themselves and using their service in government to do that. During his interview on “60 Minutes,” Trump conceded that his transition team was littered with DC insiders.
“Everybody’s a lobbyist down there,” he said.
The transition process has been bumpy, but for Donald Trump this is the easy part. In a few days from now, the moment will come for him actually to govern. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty. Trump’s plan explains the U-turns he has been signalling on a raft of pledges that were at the core of his campaign for US President, from pretending that climate change is a hoax to his appetite for sending Ms Clinton to jail for her email violations. Those who supported him will relish the impression of action. But many, especially the more ardent among conservatives, will question what is missing.