When Donald Trump promised to deliver on his promises and do so quickly, many thought that he was just another politician promising something he couldn’t deliver.
Five days into his term, he has proved them wrong, using executive orders to deliver on key promises. Here are some of the most important ones.
Donald Trump has used an executive order to withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership. This was part of his broader pledge to protect American jobs from unfair free trade deals which would lead to the outsourcing of further industrial jobs.
Trump has also said that he will begin negotiations with Mexico on NAFTA, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s flagship, job destroying deal from 1994.
Obamacare is out and with the help of Republican (though often libertarian in spirit) Senator Rand Paul, it will be replaced with a more durable, more cost effective system.
Unknown Quantities from Overseas
Donald Trump warned that terrorism in the United States is not a matter of going house to house in foreign war after foreign war but rather, it is a matter of un-vetted immigration. This is why, as promised, Trump will pause new immigration, including refugee applications from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan and Libya.
This is what should have been done by the Bush administration after 9/11, but Bush preferred to respond to that atrocity through the use of military action rather than reforms as to who is to be let in. The world, including the US, has paid deeply for this decision. It has made every country far less safe than it was in 2001.
My criticism of Trump in this area is that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are not on this list. They ought to be first on any such list.
What is clear is that one cannot repeat the mistakes of Bush, who was either too stupid or too wicked to draw the parallel between 9/11 and a weak immigration system. Furthermore, the madness of the open-door policy of Angela Merkel cannot be repeated either. It has already create a disaster in Europe. Trump has made clear that he will learn from her monumental mistake.
Trump seems to implicitly understand this and he is acting upon it.
Trump has given authorisation for construction on the US-Mexico border wall to commence. This comes ahead of his meeting with Mexican President Peña Nieto about how Mexico can help pay for the construction of the wall through an agreement which will be reciprocal and, according to Trump, mutually beneficial.
Dakota Access Pipeline
Trump has given authorising for work on the controversial pipeline to continue. This ought to be seen in the wider context of Trump’s pledge to make the US totally energy independent.
Working with Russia against ISIS
In spite of earlier rumours, it appears that this cooperative action has not yet begun. But Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer made it clear that the door to cooperation is wide open.
Agreements with businesses
Trump has met with leading CEOs of auto firms, technology firms and other manufacturers to try to secure agreements to keep high paying, stable jobs in the US in exchange for favourable tax arrangements. Failure to reach such arrangements would lead to new import tariffs on all products manufactured abroad.
So far it looks like his bargaining points have been broadly accepted. This has been done not through legislative arrangements but through old fashioned negotiating. It is the art of the deal.
The fact that the Dow Jones is currently setting record highs is a testament to the confidence business has in Trump. Ironically many trade union workers share this confidence. A true victory for Trump’s vision.
Cuts on Foreign Aid
Trump’s revival of Ronald Reagan’s Mexico City Policy to stop giving US tax player money to foreign abortionists is not about ideology. It’s about money. Trump wants to cut back on foreign aid as part of a wider America First policy, one which I would add is gravely misunderstood.
The term America First originated in 1940 with the America First Committee. The Committee was a non-partisan group of concerned Americans who wanted to keep the US out of war. This is the meaning of America First, it represents an opposition to American interventionism in the world, whether financial, ideological or worse yet, military intervention.
Trump’s reinstating of the 1984 Mexico City Policy should be seen in this context and no other.
In 2017, the idea that a politician would keep a promise seems unlikely, but Trump us no ordinary politician. As he said on the campaign trail, he isn’t really a politician at all. Perhaps that’s why he’s done more in five days than many politicians do over a period of years.