Trump unveils his 100 days project

ANDREW GOMBERT

Republican Donald Trump speaks as he debates Democrat Hillary Clinton during the first Presidential Debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, USA, 26 September 2016.

Trump unveils his 100 days project


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Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office will see the US withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a five-year lobbying ban on government officials after they leave office, and the termination of environmental regulation that disrupts coal, oil, and gas production.

Trump seems to have backed down from repealing Obamacare or building the wall on the border with Mexico, for the moment.

TPP

The TPP signatories cover 40% of the world’s economy. It includes the US, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Mexico. The objective would be to reduce tariff barriers, while also enforcing labour and environmental standards, copyrights, patents and other legal protections.

In its place, he promises to renegotiate “fair” bilateral – and presumably asymmetrical – deals. That is in the spirit of “putting America first” and “bring back our jobs.”

Japan’s prime minister said TPP is “meaningless,” during a visit to Argentina. There is already speculation China will fill the vacuum. That may be particularly the case for countries that are not traditional US allies.

To annul TPP, Trump does not need Senate support.

Clean Power Plan

The next objective for destruction is the so-called “job-killing” Clean Power Plan, an anti-climate change master plan aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 32% by 2030. That means killing the Paris Agreement too, in effect if not in principle. The world now has to look to China for global leadership on climate change.

The Obama plan would restrict coal power and reduce production in areas like Ohio, a key swing state for Trump. In dismantling this plan, Trump will be able to count on a powerful lobby.

Anti-immigration

Trump mentions no “Wall” building across the border with Mexico. But, he promises to go after visa abuses “that undercut American workers.”

That promise does not look solid. Trump will not be able to master the support he needs in the Senate or the House of Representatives. That is why he promises a different style of administration – i.e. focusing on visas – rather than new legislation.

While building a wall will be a promise hard to deliver on, arresting and expelling millions can happen.

Defense

Trump is promising to take measures against cyber-attacks, which favoured his campaign, supplying material against Hillary Clinton. And Trump will do that with the credibility of a leader that encouraged hacking, publically. But, there was no mention of moving quickly to undo the Iran nuclear deal.

Going revolutionary

Trump promises a law that would ban (for life) former government officials from lobbying for foreign governments. If that rule were to be applied retrospectively, some people in his administration would not be able to “serve.”

But, looking forward, Trump will need some support in the Senate, because not everything can pass through an executive order.  In his conservative revolt, Donald Trump will need to carry a rather thin Senate majority of 52-to-48.

But, looking forward, Trump will need some support in the Senate, because not everything can pass through an executive order.  In his conservative revolt, Donald Trump will need to carry a rather thin Senate majority of 52-to-48.

That too is “so important.”

Among Republicans, not everyone is enthused with Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, while there are plenty reacting to his pro-Russian rhetoric.

South Carolina’s Lindsay Graham has been cited as one of the Republicans Trump will not be able to count on John McCain, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse, Marco Rubio, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. These will certainly not be safe, partisan, Republican votes. Some swing Democrats will offer Trump some breathing space, but there will be checks on his political agenda.

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