President Trump has promised to “Make America Great Again,” and to help create and keep jobs in the U.S. However, many are asking how he plans on accomplishing this promise. From his first few days in office, we have had a glimpse of his economic agenda in action, which may give us insights into the future of his presidency.
To prevent U.S. companies from outsourcing jobs to countries with lower minimum wages, President Trump has already issued an executive order that withdraws the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This agreement between the U.S. and eleven other countries bordering the Pacific Ocean would have allowed for more open trade. Instead, Trump wants to push for bilateral trade agreements with countries like the UK and Japan.
The proponents of the TPP, including former President Obama, argued that the deal would help increase exports and decrease prices on goods for consumers. However, Trump has echoed his message to keep jobs in the U.S. many times, and withdrawing from the TPP allegedly fulfills his goal.
During his inaugural address Trump said, “one by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.” According to Trump, leaving the TPP prevents more jobs from leaving overseas.
Another way Trump plans to create jobs is to speak personally with the leaders of large companies. In his first week, Trump met with the CEOs of General Motors, Fiat-Chrysler and Ford to tell them he would encourage car manufacturing in the U.S. by easing environmental regulations and cutting taxes. His words contrasted with a more threatening message he had for the three major auto companies during his campaign, when he criticized them for transferring too many operations to foreign countries. Trump’s move could potentially create “200,000 to 400,000 new U.S. jobs in the auto industry,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Although interaction directly with corporations is rare for Presidents, Trump looks to create a new precedent by meeting with company leaders on a quarterly basis. He also met with the CEOs of U.S. Steel, Dow Chemical, and Under Armour, emphasizing his wish for the companies to stop shipping jobs overseas. Otherwise, they would face the threat of increased tariffs.
Likewise, in an attempt to give jobs to U.S. citizens and to decrease illegal immigration, Trump issued another executive order to start building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. While the wall may help U.S. citizens get jobs that illegal immigrant might take away, one main gripe for its construction is its enormous cost: estimates range upwards of $10 billion.
Trump claims he will force Mexico to finance the creation of the wall, but his statements have been received with backlash from both Mexico and Congress. Mexican President Nieto cancelled his meeting with President Trump after Trump put the executive order in effect. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic Leader, stated, “President Trump’s insistence that Mexico will pay for the wall has once again just been proven as delusional fiction by the Mexican President.” Despite all the adverse responses, Trump seems adamant in his beliefs that the wall will be created.
Evidence of Trump’s active first few days as President may cause some to be fearful of his marginalization of certain demographics and isolationist mindset. Others have compared his time so far as leader of the U.S. to former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first one hundred days in office. In that time period, FDR passed through Congress 15 major bills, including laws like the Glass-Steagall Act, which separate investment banks from commercial banks. He also helped set up the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, which eventually led to programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
At this point it is too early to see the full outcome of Trump’s actions, but he has shown that he is firm in sticking to his economic agenda and is readily prepared to accomplish what he set out to do: keep jobs in America.
(Image Courtesy of NBC)