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Trump starts Day Three with a trio of executive actions

Trump has tried to set a galloping pace in his first regular workday in the White House.


President Donald Trump signed a trio of executive actions on Monday that slash American aid to groups that provide or promote abortions overseas, withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations and put in place an immediate federal hiring freeze.

Together, they put his biggest imprint yet on the federal government, offering something for three of his key constituencies: social conservatives (the abortion policy), fiscal conservatives (the hiring freeze) and his populist base (withdrawing from the Asian trade talks.). The White House did not immediately release the text of the memoranda.

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“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Trump said in the Oval Office, with Vice President Mike Pence and a handful of senior aides standing behind him.

“Great thing for the American worker what we just did,” Trump said of pulling out of the trade deal, which had already stalled in Congress, rendering the new order largely symbolic.

Trump said the hiring freeze did not apply to the armed forces. “Except for the
military,” Trump said of the memorandum as he signed it.

The actions were the most sweeping of his early presidency, following a Friday move asking federal agencies to “ease the burdens” of President Obama’s health care law, a first step toward the Republican goal of dismantling the measure.

Trump has tried to set a galloping pace in his first regular workday in the White House. Along with signing the new orders, he met with American CEOs in the morning and planned to sit down with workers in the afternoon and with congressional leaders, including Speaker Paul Ryan, in the evening. Trump also spoke by phone with Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi, a day after speaking with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still, Trump appears on pace to fulfill only a fraction of the “day one” promises that he had made during the campaign.

Standing in Gettysburg, Penn., less than three weeks until the election, Trump was remarkably specific as he vowed his candidacy represented “the kind of change that only arrives once in a lifetime.”


Trump had pledged that “on the first day of my term of office” he would “pursue” six measures: a constitutional amendment for term limits for Congress, a federal hiring freeze, a requirement to eliminate two federal regulations for every new one promulgated, a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of foreign governments and a ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

He has only so far announced the hiring freeze.

Trump also gave voters seven other promises related to the economy, including renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, labeling China a currency manipulator, approving the Keystone pipeline and cutting off funding to United Nations climate-change programs.

On Sunday, Trump addressed the future of NAFTA while swearing in his senior staff. “I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA,” Trump said at the ceremony. “But we’re going to start re-negotiating on NAFTA, on immigration and on security at the border.”

At Gettysburg, Trump did include some hedges in his 100-day contract, saying he would “propose” a term-limits amendment (versus enact it) and that he would “direct my Secretary of the Treasury” to label China a manipulator, not necessarily do so from the Oval Office.

He also promised to cancel federal funds for sanctuary cities and to “suspend immigration from terror-prone regions.” Neither have happened yet.

Trump has made clear he wants to focus heavily on the economy and jobs — “I will be the greatest jobs president God ever created,” he said earlier this month — and it is no accident that he has scheduled meetings with workers as well as corporate executives Monday, his first regular workday since being sworn in.

President Donald Trump  leads a meeting with invited business leaders and members of his staff in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on January 23.

Trump told the assembled business leaders he would be particularly focused on trade and the economy. “It’s what the people wanted. It’s one the reasons I’m sitting here instead of someone else sitting here. I think it’s something I’m good at,” Trump said.

Trump pledged to slash taxes “massively” and curtail regulations.

“We think we can cut regulations by 75 percent,” Trump said. “Maybe more.”

Trump also threatened American companies that ship operations abroad. “If that happens, we are going to be imposing a very major border tax on the products when it comes in,” he said.

Among the business leaders to meet with Trump on Monday were Mark Fields of Ford Motor Company, Elon Musk of SpaceX, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies and representatives from Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Arconic, Dow Chemical, U.S. Steel, Under Armour, International Paper and Corning.

Updates headline and story to clarify that Trump signed executive actions, not orders.

Source: POLITICO – TOP Stories

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