Trump’s First Week: Tariff Plan and Executive Orders Abound to Restore American Greatness

trump-first-week-executive-orders-signedPresident Trump spoke in front of millions of Americans as he campaigned for the presidency. He employed a combination of bold proclamations and social media savvy to take his message directly to Americans. Opponents of Trump questioned whether or not he would be able to deliver on the promises he made but through the first several days of his presidency he has set the tone for what should be a transformative period for America. He has employed the use of Executive Orders on matters like abortion, immigration, energy, trade and healthcare.

Many on the right who criticized former President Barack Obama for stretching the limits of his executive power have been mostly silent as President Trump has attempted to undo the damages of Obama’s radical leftist agenda. Obama apologists have pointed to the frequency in which he used executive orders vs previous presidents as justification for potentially exceeding his executive authority.

Number of Executive Orders by each President, Credit: Fivethirtyeight
Number of Executive Orders by each President, Credit: Fivethirtyeight

President Obama, while using less executive orders than his predecessors, had been criticized for bypassing Congress in passing the “Dream Act” in 2012 while Congress was still attempting to draft a passable version of immigration reform. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to the President in a letter prior to his taking that action, “If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future.”

Obama also used EO’s to correct what he perceived to be mistakes in his signature piece of legislation, The Affordable Care Act. His actions spurred the House of Representatives to adopt a bill intended to expedite congressional lawsuits against the sitting President for failing to enforce federal laws. That measure was approved by a vote of 233 to 181, with every Republican and five Democrats, voting in favor.

While many on the left have already rushed to criticism in the case of the Trump Executive Orders, his supporters see his aggressive actions as him delivering on promises made to voters as he barnstormed the country. Among the EO’s signed are:

  • An end to “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrants; and reinstating local and state immigration enforcement partnerships. Defunding Sanctuary Cities
  • Orders reviving the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines.
  • An order to reinstate the “Mexico City Policy” to ban federal funding to international groups that perform abortions or lobby to legalize or promote abortion.
  • He signed notice that the U.S. will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump calls the order “a great thing for the American worker.”
  • An order imposing a hiring freeze for some federal government workers(excluding the military) as a way to shrink the size of government.
  • An order that directs federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burdens” of ObamaCare. It orders agencies to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement” of The Affordable Care Act that imposes a “fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.”
  • To Ban refugees and residents from seven Muslim nations.
  • Changes to the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
  • Lengthening the ban for administration officials to be able to work as lobbyists.
  • Improve American efforts to defeat ISIS

The historic first week-plus was not without controversy or criticism, however. When the President announced his intention to follow through on plans to levy tariffs on foreign imports, many of the original arguments against that action resurfaced. Some dissenters cited the Constitution’s Origination Clause in questioning the President’s authority to such an action. Others warn of a potential trade war that may be detrimental to American consumers.

While none of us can truly predict the future, one thing we learned this week is certain, Trump is intent on fulfilling his promise to put American interests first.

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