Why is this article not entitled “a week afterTrump’s inauguration”? Because every hour counts. Since Mr. Trump took office on January 20, the occupant of the oval office signed an executive order to repeal the act, also known as Obamacare.
On the following day, America witnessed a Women’s March that aimed to show the new President that he will have to face a lot of criticism on his opinions about women rights, LGBT, racial justice, freedom of religion, to name a few. Tensions also increased vis-à-vis the media. Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, stated that the attendance for the 2017 presidential inauguration was higher than previous ones. However, pictures published by different sources showed otherwise. Trump’s administration accuses the media of having a tough approach on his government compared to the Obama era.
Trump himself affirmed that the crowd was bigger in 2017 than in 2009 during his speech at the CIA on Sunday. A stance that was criticized by the former CIA director, John Brennan, who said that Mr. Trump “should be ashamed of himself”.
On Monday, the incumbent president reinstated a ban on public funds to groups that provide information and perform abortions. A measure that was lifted by Obama back in 2009. The reinstatement is highly criticized by women’s rights advocates and health specialists. The health and lives of many women shall be in jeopardy according to them.
With regards to public spending, Trump signed an executive order to obstacle the recruitment of public civil servants. The hiring freeze, however, won’t affect the military and professions related to National Security. While the measure can be labelled as a budget cut, in practice it can have side effects such as the shutdown of public services or, even worse, relying on private contractors that are likely to be more expensive.
On national security, the president intends to halt the flow of refugees to the US and would like to stop issuing visas to nationals from the following countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. He also shocked public opinion on Wednesday stating that “torture works”. He might allow new “black site” prisons across the world. These facilities became famous during the Bush era.
Concerning trade, Trump decided to withdraw the US from the Trans-Pacific talks. The American president won’t stop there. He would also like to renegotiate the NAFTA, comprised of the US, Canada and Mexico. His stance is to bring jobs back to the United States. Will he succeed? Unlikely, taking into account the cost of labor in the US, companies will probably increase the number of robots in their facilities. A good example is the factory of Tesla. It should also be highlighted that if he also imposes protectionism against China living costs in the US should increase.
Talking about China, the Asian country might take the leap and lead the world on environmental issues, once Mr. Trump is against renewable energies. He decided to advance two pipelines projects, and he will have to face opposition from some States such as California which is leading energy transition in the US.
Trump also announced his plans to build a wall on the Mexican border. A project estimated at 15 billion dollars. He insists that the Mexican people will pay for it. The amount would come from Mexican oil exports to the US. Enrique Pena Nieto, the Mexican president, declared that Mexico won’t fund such outrageous project. Besides, he also cancelled his visit to Washington next week.
The sitting president knows how to position himself before the cameras. He takes the most out of these photo opportunities when signing an executive order. But it is important to note that such orders are the first step of policy making. Only the Congress has the power to approve legislation of such scale. As a reminder, Obama tried to shutdown Guantanamo and his attempted was thwarted at Capitol Hill.