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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

President Trump completes 100 days. So did he keep his promises?

The US president has signed order after order, but most of his plans seem to have been ill-thought-out and poorly prepared, with legal and legislative roadblocks forcing his administration to go right back to square one.

world Updated: Apr 27, 2017 19:00 IST
Joyeeta Biswas
Joyeeta Biswas
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
US President Donald Trump on Day 6,  signing an executive order for immigration actions to build his border wall.
US President Donald Trump on Day 6, signing an executive order for immigration actions to build his border wall.(AP)

Before he was elected president of the US, Donald Trump unveiled what he called a “contract between him and the American voter” that listed measures he pledged to fulfil within the first 100 days of his presidency.

On Saturday, his young and colourful reign hits that significant one-hundred mark, and it’s time to assess how he’s doing on his key promises.


Donald Trump's first proposed budget.
Donald Trump's first proposed budget. ( AP )

1) What he said: I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal.

How it’s looking: All bark, no bite.

Trump has often railed against and threatened to pull the US out of this trade deal, which ties together the economies of the US, Mexico and Canada. But after taking office, his stance has softened and, on Wednesday, he said he would not terminate the treaty.

2) What he said: I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

How it’s looking: Achieved.

On January 23, Trump signed an executive order formally pulling the US out of the trade pact and distancing America from its Asian allies.

3) What he said: I will direct my secretary of the treasury to label China a currency manipulator.

How it’s looking: Screeching U-turn

On the campaign trail, Trump regularly accused China of artificially lowering the value of its money to make its exports cheaper. But since taking office, he’s begun to make nice, saying he doesn’t think the country manipulates its currency.

And they thought we’d butt heads.
And they thought we’d butt heads. ( Reuters )

4) What he said: I will direct the secretary of commerce and US trade representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately.

How it’s looking: A faint growl.

On March 31, Trump signed an executive order in line with this promise but it was a relatively mild measure – requiring a three-month study into the causes of US trade deficits and possible abuses that experts said was unlikely to throw up anything new.

5) What he said: I will lift the restrictions on the production of $50 trillion dollars worth of job-producing American energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal.

How it’s looking: Barrelling on to a pyrrhic victory.

Trump did indeed sign an order on March 28 undoing Obama-era climate change regulations, lifting curbs on fossil fuel production and bringing into question the US’ support for the Paris Climate Treaty. Environmentalists are worried.

6) What he said: I will lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward.

How it’s looking: Oozing ahead.

Just four days after taking office, Trump signed executive orders to clear the way for the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, cheering the oil industry and angering environmentalists.

A protest against Trump's executive order fast-tracking the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines in Los Angeles.
A protest against Trump's executive order fast-tracking the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines in Los Angeles. ( Reuters )


1. End The Offshoring Act.

What he said: Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the US tax-free.

How it’s looking: Thunder and lightning, but no rain.

Trump has repeatedly threatened to fine companies he believes are laying off American workers to shift production to countries like India, and in February publicly met the heads of five firms that were doing so to “get their inputs”, but he has not yet made such a move.

2. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act.

What he said: Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts.

How it’s looking: Waterloo.

Trump and the Republican Party suffered a stunning defeat in March when they were forced to pull their repeal of the Affordable Care Act from the House floor. Obamacare endures, for now.

3. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully .

What he said: Funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.

How it’s looking: Stuck in no man’s-land.

On Tuesday, in order to avoid a government shutdown, Trump backed away from a demand that Congress fund his planned border wall with Mexico. It isn’t clear where the money for such a wall will come from or whether it will at all. What is clear is that Mexico is not going to pay for it, as it has repeatedly, vehemently and often heatedly insisted.

The administration has widened the bracket of those who are priorities to be deported.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 17:00 IST