#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 6°C Monday 19 April 2021

Here are the policy decisions Donald Trump made yesterday

Trump was busy yesterday.

Trump Trump hosts a reception for House and Senate leaders in the the State Dining Room of the White House. Source: Susan Walsh/AP

Executive orders signed: 3

Tweets sent: 1

NEW US PRESIDENT Donald Trump had said that yesterday was his first real day at work.

With that in mind, Trump was busy yesterday. Here’s what he did:

Signed an order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Trump all but torpedoed a major trade deal, which he had long claimed was bad for America. The new President said he had “terminated” the Trans-Pacific Partnership — a trade deal binding the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Vietnam and seven other allies against growing Chinese economic clout.

Together, TPP members represent 40% of the world economy. Trump said he would be “going back to those countries one-on-one” to find terms more favourable to the United States. While the plan was aggressively free market, Trump maintained it would hurt American jobs. His Republican ally John McCain described the new president’s decision as a “serious mistake that will have lasting consequences for America’s economy and our strategic position in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Signed an order reinstating the “Mexico City rule”

Trump wrote a memorandum repealing an Obama executive order from 2009. Trump’s order told the Secretary of Health and Human Services to:

“Ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars do not fund organisations or programs that support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation”.

The regulation, known as the “Mexico City Policy” or, by critics, the “global gag rule,” has been a political volleyball, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984.

The order means that US federal funding cannot now go to organisations which support or give advice on abortion.

Signed an order implementing a federal hiring freeze

Trump also signed an memo ordering:

“A freeze on the hiring of Federal civilian employees to be applied across the board in the executive branch. As part of this freeze, no vacant positions existing at noon on January 22, 2017, may be filled and no new positions may be created, except in limited circumstances. This order does not include or apply to military personnel. The head of any executive department or agency may exempt from the hiring freeze any positions that it deems necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities.”

Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said the freeze ensures taxpayers get effective and efficient government and said it “counters the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years.”

Statistics from the Office of Personnel Management, though, show that the number of executive branch employees hasn’t been this low since 1965, and that the number of employees has stayed more or less steady in the last 15 years.

Taxes and CIA

Trump yesterday met with Republican leaders, with tax reform reportedly high on the agenda. He also saw Mike Pompeo confirmed as CIA Director and Rex Tillerson’s pick as Secretary of State advance. On the international front, Trump spoke to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, committing to providing military assistance to the country.

He will today meet with the leaders of the American automotive industry, who he has criticised for sending jobs overseas.

Read: Saturday Night Live writer suspended over tweet mocking Barron Trump

Read next: