10 things that changed with Donald Trump in the United States in his first year as president

10 things that changed with Donald Trump in the United States in his first year as president

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A quarter of Donald Trump’s presidential term has passed, enough time to judge his performance so far.

There have been promises fulfilled, promises broken and promises ignored.

In addition, the president reaches his first anniversary with 39% approval in the polls, the lowest of all US presidents. in its first year.

But has anything changed in the United States with the policies of Donald Trump?

He is a businessman with no political experience who, when he arrived in Washington, said that “it would cause an impact  . Did he do it?


1. Immigration

The Trump administration tackled the immigration issue fairly quickly with its controversial executive order closing the country’s border to migrants from a number of mainly Muslim nations. The order was quickly suspended by the courts.

Since then, the White House has submitted two new immigration orders, adding some countries to the list of those with prohibited access – including Venezuela – and removing one from its list: Sudan.

The latest measures, at least so far, have resisted legal challenges.

Anti-immigration efforts have also doubled: as of October 2017 there were 143,470 arrests of undocumented immigrants, an increase of 30% over the previous year.

The 8 countries in which the US immigration veto weighs
Image caption The 8 countries on which the US immigration veto weighs

Trump also announced the end of the Deferred Action for Children’s Arrivals (or DACA ) program, established in the Obama era, which granted residence status to some 700,000 undocumented immigrants who entered the United States. being children.

The order was temporarily suspended by a court and is the subject of ongoing negotiations in Congress.

Trump is pushing for drastic changes in the US immigration system, including reducing the total number of immigrants and ending the visa lottery system and trying to limit the ability of current US residents to take their family members. residing abroad in the country.

Democrats, however, strongly resist these measures.

As for the wall on the border with Mexico – perhaps the most memorable promise of the Trump campaign – its funding is still in doubt and the money to pay for it will most likely come from the pockets of US taxpayers and not Mexico.

What impact have you had?

The president has broad authority on immigration and border issues, and has used them, despite the fact that some courts have tried to cut his wings.

Still, there is nothing that Trump wants more than to stand before a new and resplendent wall on the border of Mexico.


Judge Neil Gorsuch
Copyright of the AFP image
Image caption Judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill a seat on the Supreme Court.

2. The courts

Trump had the opportunity to make his mark in the country’s highest court a few months after taking office.

But the president’s judicial achievements extend beyond his selection of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Senate Republicans have refused to confirm Obama’s nominees for state and district courts during the last two years of his term, which has left an unprecedented number of vacant positions that must be filled by Trump.

All these judges will have lifetime appointments , which has ensured that after a year in office Trump has already managed to cement a lasting conservative legacy in the US judiciary.

It is also a reason why Republicans are eager to maintain control of the Senate in the upcoming midterm elections.

If the Democrats gain control, Trump’s ability to place his people in the federal judiciary would be drastically restricted.

What impact have you had?

With good fortune and political will, the stars have aligned themselves so that the conservatives put their mark on the judiciary.

Some feared that Trump could not be trusted when it came to the selection of nominees, but the president has exceeded expectations.


Donald Trump
Copyright of the EPA image
Image caption The infrastructure projects that Trump promised have been relegated for the time being.

3. Infrastructure s

In his inaugural address, Trump highlighted an ambitious new infrastructure investment program.

“We will build new streets and highways, bridges, airports, tunnels and railways throughout our beautiful nation,” he said.

“We will remove our people from state subsidies and put them to work , rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor.”

Since then, Trump’s great infrastructure plan has always been found “just around the corner”. And is that Congress and the Administration first focused on health reform and then on tax reform.

For now, the conversation about infrastructures has remained empty .

In fact, the phrase “is the week of infrastructure” has become a common joke in Washington.

What impact have you had?

Where would Trump be today if he had started his government with a bipartisan infrastructural program that would have been met with overwhelming public support instead of travel bans and a biting and long battle for the health system?


A woman with a plaster that says "I love Obamacare"
Copyright of the AFP image
Image caption Trump failed to reverse Obamacare in Congress but in practical terms he strongly weakened the system created by his predecessor.

4. Health

Trump’s efforts against Obama’s health reform – the so-called Obamacare – to replace it with a conservative plan suffered dramatic legislative failures.

However, the administration took significant steps to weaken the foundations of the Democratic law.

The president suspended payments to insurance companies that were meant to insure the poorest and sickest Americans.

Republican congressmen also blew up Obamacare by rejecting the requirement that all Americans take out health insurance.

The measure could lead to healthier citizens staying uninsured until they get sick, which would increase premiums.

Last October Trump declared that addiction to opiates is a public health emergency, but no more resources have been allocated to address the situation.

¿ What impact have you had?

It has taken a year but Trump is taking steps towards the repeal of Obamacare. However, it has not advanced in a proposal that replaces it.


Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart  Donald Trump
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image captionTrump visited the main US business partner during his first year in government.

5. Trade

In meetings with foreign leaders the president repeatedly emphasized “reciprocal” trade and encouraged friendly nations to buy US-made products.

The president quickly ended his country’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Economic Cooperation Agreement (TPP) and began talks with Canada and Mexico to restructure the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), whose negotiations are currently under pressure.

USA and Canada are also involved in a commercial dispute over the Canadian sale of various products, which led Canadians to file a formal complaint against the United States. before the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Although Trump spoke of confrontation with China during his campaign, there have been no actions against the largest US trading partner. Meanwhile, the US trade deficit with China increased to US $ 35.4 billion in November.

The country’s total trade deficit in November was US $ 50,500 million, the highest in five years, suggesting that the total indicator for 2017 could also reach the highest level in five years.

Although Trump campaigned to close the US trade gap, the expansion in the deficit can be attributed largely to the continued economic growth of the country.

What impact have you had?

Trump has given indications that he will take important commercial measures, but the main change in the first year has been the abrupt stop to the support of the country to the expansion of the free world-wide commerce .


President Donald Trump
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image captionTrump boasted of having achieved the largest fiscal cut in US history.

6. Tax reform

Trump ended 2017 with an important legislative achievement: a fiscal reform, promised in the campaign, that drastically reduces taxes for companies and for many Americans.

It is estimated that the total cost of fiscal changes will be about US $ 1 5 billion in 10 years.

However, some of Trump’s more ambitious goals were scrapped: there is little to encourage foreign factories to relocate to the US.

There are also major losers with the president’s tax reform, mainly individuals in the states that pay the most taxes, mainly Democrats , who will lose the ability to deduct state and local taxes over the US $ 10,000 limit.

Trump is enjoying recent announcements from large corporations that they will transfer some of their tax savings to their employees and customers, although polls continue to show that many Americans think the new law will not help them in their finances.

What impact have you had?

Trump can claim the most substantial change in US tax law in 16 years and have put into effect the kind of massive corporate tax reduction that Republicans had been looking for for decades.


Keystone Project in North Dakota
Copyright of the REUTERS image
Image caption The controversial Keystone oil pipeline in North Dakota received a green light from Trump.

7. Environment

During the first year of Trump there was a significant reduction in the amount of federal regulations and that was especially noticeable in matters related to the environment.

Shortly after taking over, he gave final approval to several projects to build oil pipelines, which had been delayed for years. It also allowed the exploration of oil and gas in large natural areas of Alaska and on the coasts of the United States. (with the exception of Florida, where a Republican also governs).

The government’s environmental agency (EPA) also overturned regulations passed during the Obama era that limited emissions from coal plants, although these changes may be slowed down in the courts.

According to the New York Times, the Trump government sought to reverse at least 60 federal regulations related to the environment and so far has been successful on 29 occasions.

On June 1, Trump announced that the US it would abandon the Paris Agreementon climate change, although the goals that the country had agreed upon were not mandatory.

What impact have you had?

President Obama had taken important steps to increase federal environmental standards, despite Republican objections in Congress. Now Trump is using that same authority to reverse them .


NY Stock Market
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption Trump’s first year was very good for the stock market.

8. Economy

The first year of Donald Trump as president has been full of good economic news. As Trump himself often notes, the stock market is reaching record levels.

Unemployment, which reached 4.8% when it took office, fell to 4.1% , its lowest level in 17 years. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) reached 3.2% in the third quarter of 2017, its highest point since the first quarter of 2015.

These figures are generating a lot of economic optimism . The Consumer Confidence Index reached its highest level in 17 years last November.

However, much of this success is due to measures taken during the Obama administration , something that most Americans recognize, according to a Quinnipiac survey that showed that 49% of those who believe that the economy is in an “excellent state” or “they attribute it to Obama, while 40% attribute it to Trump.

What impact have you had?

Trump is hopeful that good economic figures will eventually convince those who did not vote that he knows what he is doing. He has three more years to try to convince them .


Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump
Copyright of the EPA image
Image caption Public insults between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un worry many.

9. Foreign policy

Trump promised during his campaign a foreign policy that puts “US First” and demands that the allies make greater financial and military efforts.

During a speech before the NATO allies in Belgium, he surprised by refusing to support the clause by which the partners of the organization defend each other from external aggressions.

Trump also exchanged very public insults with the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, calling him “little rocket man” and threatening the Asian country with “fire and fury”.

The most notable use of military force during the first year of Trump was the missile attack against a Syrian air base, in response to the use of chemical weapons by the government of that country.

In both Syria and Afghanistan, Trump has freed his generals to continue their military missions. During the year the so-called Islamic State was defeated in many areas and its influence was limited.

The president also threatened to cut aid to Pakistan if he does not do more to support the US combat. against Islamic militants.

Trump put his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in charge of the peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis but his most dramatic action was to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which generated applause in that country but the condemnation of the Palestinians and great part of the international community.

What impact have you had?

Although from the rhetoric Trump has made stronger foreign policy statements than any of his predecessors, in terms of real policies has not occurred the paradigm change so feared by some and desired by others.


Donald Trump
Copyright of the GETTY IMAGES image
Image caption For better or for worse, Donald Trump is a president like none before.

10. Change of tone

There has never been an American president like Donald Trump.

There was never a head of state who had no political or military experience, nor was there, at least in modern times, someone so frank or disruptive on the national and global scene.

Many of Trump’s sympathizers looked for just that: they voted for the candidate who told them that the current system was broken and that the other politicians were fake.

They asked for something different and that’s what they got.

Trump himself affirms that he is “defining the modern presidency” with his free use of social networks, his improvised speeches in campaign tone and his indifference to many of the historical traditions of American politics.

In some ways his presidency has been conventional: his choice of judges, tax cuts and efforts to reduce regulatory standards are typically republican or s . But Trump’s way of operating and his way of communicating have been unique .

What impact have you had?

It remains to be seen if Donald Trump is definitively changing the way we do politics in the United States. But having completed a quarter of his term, what is clear is that US policy He is not changing Donald Trump.

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Rava Desk

Rava is an online news portal providing recent news, editorials, opinions and advice on day to day happenings in Pakistan.

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