Trump Achievements since the 2016 Election, Part 3

We are looking at President Trump’s accomplishments — already Parts 1 and 2.  At the end of the Accomplishment list posting, if you’d like a copy of the list, I’ll gladly forward it to you in a .pdf document. You’ll have to provide to me your email address if you want the list,  (I promise no sales attempts, no sale of your email address, and no one else will get it)  and of course there’s no charge.

We continue with Part 3:  Energy and Environmental Policy

 Energy and Environmental Policy, Labor, Trade, and Foreign Policy

Legislation signed

  • February 14, 2017—Trump signed H.J.Res.41 – Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of a rule submitted by the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to “Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers.”
    Executive actions
  • January 24, 2017—Trump signed two orders reviving consideration for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects, which Obama halted due to supposed environmental concerns.  On March 24, 2017, the Trump Administration approved the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The Dakota Access Pipeline went into service by June 1, 2017.
  • January 24, 2017—In addition to the above, Trump signed three other orders, one requiring the United States Secretary of Commerce make a plan within six months mandating all new or improved pipelines be made with American steel, another order requiring every federal agency to streamline manufacturing regulations, and the third allowing fast-track approval for important infrastructure projects.
  • March 18, 2017—The Trump Administration forced the G-20 to remove any mention of climate change from its joint statement.
  • March 28, 2017—President Trump signed a major executive order repealing several Obama-era environmental regulations unfavorable to coal. In addition to this, the order started an immediate review of Obama’s Clean Power Plan, help create American energy jobs, bring American energy independence by stimulating domestic energy production, and giving authority back to the states.
  • April 28, 2017—President Trump signed an executive order repealing a ban on offshore drilling signed by President Obama and directing the Interior Secretary to review U.S. drilling policy and regulations. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke began the process of expanding offshore drilling on May 1.
  • May 2017—The Trump Administration signed agreements as a member of the Arctic Council, and it was later revealed that it successfully weakened the language regarding climate change and environmental policy.
  • May 31, 2017—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order to open up more land in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska to energy production.
  • June 1, 2017—To the dismay of world leaders, the media, and other liberals, and in a major blow to Obama’s legacy, President Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement and immediately stop its implementation, including by ending payments to the U.N. Green Climate Fund. In his announcement speech, Trump made clear that “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” and that “our withdrawal from the agreement represents a reassertion of America’s sovereignty.”(even with U.S. withdrawal, it was still well on its way to deeply reducing admissions)
  • June 12, 2017—The Trump Administration formally rejected a G7 pledge to adhere to the Paris climate agreement.
  • June 12, 2017—The Trump Administration rejected, on the grounds of being unnecessary and with costs greater than any benefits, a proposed regulation to put a limit on the number of certain endangered marine animals allowed to be killed on injured in fishing nets.
  • June 15, 2017—The Department of Energy closed its Office of International Climate and Technology in order to improve its organizational structure.
  • June 30, 2017—Despite a court ruling tha the EPA did not need to take the loss of coal jobs into account when implementing regulations, it chose to follow that policy regardless.
  • July 6, 2017—Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke signed an order for his department to hold more lease sales and speed up permitting for oil and gas exploration. he signed the order because of delays in the approval process for federal lands.
  • July 8, 2017—In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them in regards to climate policy, with the statement acknowledging the U.S.’s intention to withdraw from the Paris agreement and including language on the nation’s intention to promote clean fossil fuels internationally.

Other Achievements

  • The coal industry experienced a rebound at the beginning of Trump’s presidency, after “the historic lows reached during the Obama era.” Although the rebound could also be seen in India and China, it was more dramatic in the United States.
  • It was reported shortly before Independence Day 2017 that gas prices that weekend were at their lowest level since 2005 – 12 years.

Economic Policy and Labor

Executive actions

  • February 3, 2017—President Trump signed an order directing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, upon his confirmation, to plan changes to the Dodd-Frank bank regulatory law in order to cut much of it.
  • April 21, 2017—President Trump signed one executive order and two memorandums. The order directed the Treasury Secretary Mnuchin to look at the U.S. tax code and recommend the removal of unnecessary regulations and the two memorandums directing the Treasury Secretary to conduct a review of portions of the Dodd-Frank law.
  • June 15, 2017—President Trump signed executive orders to loosen federal regulations on job-training programs and to encourage apprenticeships and vocational learning.
  • June 16, 2017—The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions officially changed its position on the Supreme Court case NLRB v. Murphy Oil – it is not common for the Justice Department to change its position in court cases.
  • The national debt decreased after President Trump assumed office, unlike Obama. In Trump’s first 100 days in office, the U.S. national debt decreased by $100 billion, as opposed to Obama, where the debt grew by $560 billion by the same point in his presidency.
  • By June 2017, the economy was clearly improving and growing, and Americans’ confidence in the economy rose. The economy rose faster than expected in July 2017, with 222,000 jobs being added. It was reported in early July that U.S. factory activity rose to its highest level since August 2014.

Trade Policy

Executive actions

  • January 23, 2017—Trump signed an order which withdrew the United States from the globalist Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • March 18, 2017—The Trump Administration forced the G-20 to remove its opposition to protectionism and its support for free trade from its joint statement.
  • March 31, 2017—President Trump signed two orders. The first order instituted a crackdown on violations of anti-dumping laws and help to officials to collect penalties already owed to the U.S. The second order ordered a report by the Department of Commerce and the U.S. Trade Representative on the causes of the U.S. trade deficit due within 90 days.
  • April 20, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum directing the Department of Commerce to investigate whether steel imports pose a threat to U.S. national security.
  • April 25, 2017—After Canada changed its milk pricing policy, putting U.S. farmers at a severe disadvantage,[7] the Trump Administration imposed tariffs at rates up to 24% on Canadian lumber imports.
  • April 27, 2017—President Trump signed a memorandum opening a Department of Commerce investigation into whether the high level of aluminum imports constitutes a threat to U.S. national security.
  • April 29, 2017—President Trump signed two executive orders, one ordering the U.S. to review all of its free trade agreements including NAFTA, and the other establishing a White House trade policy office.
  • May 11, 2017—President Trump approved a trade deal with China which would increase American exports.
  • May 18, 2017—President Trump began the process of renegotiating NAFTA.
  • June 12, 2017—The U.S. and China made an agreement that would allow American beef products to be exported to China.
  • July 8, 2017—In the final G-20 common statement, the Trump Administration, which was ideologically opposed by the other G-20 nations, successfully received concessions from them on the statement on trade.

Foreign Policy

Legislation signed

  • March and April, 2017—President Trump and the U.S. Senate approved Montenegro’s accession into NATO, over Russia’s objections. (Montenegro officially joined NATO on June 5, 2017)

Executive Actions

The Trump Administration took actions against Iran:

  • February 3, 2017—After Iran tested a ballistic missile in apparent violation of a UN Security Council resolution, the Trump Administration instituted unilateral economic sanctions against 13 Iranian individuals and 12 companies.
  • May 17, 2017—The Trump Administration imposed additional sanctions on an Iranian national, an Iranian company, a Chinese national, and three Chinese companies (because of Chinese dealings related to Iran’s nuclear program).

The Trump Administration took actions against Russia:

  • February 2017—Two U.S. government-run media outlets began broadcasting in Russian in an attempt to counter Russian propaganda.
  • April 21, 2017—The Trump Administration refused to issue waivers to any companies which wanted to do business with Russia, which was under economic sanctions, including Exxon-Mobil, which had applied for a waiver. The day earlier, the Trump Administration announced, in strong language, it was implementing the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which blacklisted certain Russian citizens.
  • June 20, 2017—The same day President Trump met with Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and entities involved in the conflict with Ukraine.
  • March 2017—After the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia authored a destructive and anti-Semitic report against Israel, the report and agency were strongly criticized by the United States and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and the executive director of the commission resigned in response.
  • On March 18, 2017, the Trump Administration successfully forced the G-20 to remove its opposition to protectionism and temper its support for free trade, and any mention of climate change from its joint statement. Later, in April 2017, the Trump Administration refused to sign the G7 joint statement because the other nations could not agree to include support for nuclear and fossil fuels without support for the Paris climate agreement. The G7, thus, went without a joint statement.
  • April 6, 2017—After the Syrian government used chemical weapons on its people, President Trump ordered a one-time airstrike against a Syrian air base, firing 60 cruise missiles at it. The U.S. destroyed about 20 Syrian jet planes and caused extremely heavy damage on the base. Defense Secretary James Mattis stated the attacks destroyed 20% of Syria’s operational aircraft. As even the New York Times reported, Trump’s action was a show of U.S. strength, and it was in stark contrast to Obama, as Trump used surprise and speed in the attacks. World leaders supported the strong action. This was the first direct military action the U.S. took against the Assad regime. On April 23, 2017, in response to the chemical attacks, the Trump Administration put sanctions on 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, which supported the nation’s chemical weapons program. On June 18, 2017, the United States shot down a Syrian aircraft for the first time, and in response to Russia’s warnings, stated that it would do whatever in its national and military interests.
  • Early in Trump’s presidency, he and his administration took a much tougher tone against North Korea than his predecessors. While the deployment was first announced during the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration confirmed it would continue the plans to – and subsequently did – deploy the THAAD missile defense system to South Korea despite China’s strong objections. THAAD was first used on May 14, 2017. The Trump Administration chose to include a military option among a list of potential strategies in United States policy towards North Korea.
  • May 2017—President Trump embarked on an ambitious foreign trip, where he, among other accomplishments, visited the heartlands of the three Abrahamic religions, challenging the Muslim world to get serious about defeating Islamic terrorism, challenging the European leaders to contribute more to NATO, and isolating Iran. While in the Middle East, Trump, unlike Obama, took a strong stance against Iran and strengthened the United States’s traditional alliances with Israel and the Arab nations, bringing them closer together. His trip was described as one that “flipped traditional U.S. foreign policy upside down.” Here are some highlights and additional achievements of the trip:
  • May 20–21, 2017—President Trump visited Saudi Arabia, the first country he visited abroad as U.S. President. His trip to the country was a major event that clearly broke from foreign policy set by Barack Obama. He received a very warm welcome – much warmer than what Obama (under whom relations became estranged) received – with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud greeting Trump at the tarmac, something Obama did not receive. Unlike Obama, Trump did not bow to the Saudi king, and he did not embark on an “apology tour” like Obama. Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, with another $350 billion of arms for the following 10 years. American and Saudi businesses signed similar agreements on the same day, with billions of dollars to be invested in the U.S. President Trump also gave a major speech to leaders of 50 Islamic world leaders challenging them to fight Islamic terror. Trump gave a blunt speech, stronger than Obama’s, and he did not mention democracy or human rights, rather speaking about “good vs. evil,” something his Islamic audience was more receptive to. (despite this, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates agreed to donate $100 million to a women entrepreneurs fund proposed by Ivanka Trump). The U.S. and Saudi Arabia strengthened counterterrorism ties by enacting joint sanctions on two “global terrorists,” and Saudi Arabia opened a center to combat Islamic terrorism. (according to President Trump, the commitment to combating Islamic terrorism was already being seen when several Arab nations cut ties with Qatar due to its support of Islamic terrorism and Iran; later, Saudi Arabia changed its royal succession plan, possibly in an attempt to please President Trump).
  • May 22–23, 2017—The second country President Trump visited was Israel, and his trip marked the first time a U.S. president visited the country on their first foreign trip. He visited the country on the 50th anniversary of the Six-Day War and Israel’s capture of Jerusalem. His flight from Saudi Arabia to Israel was one of the rare flights taken between the two countries and the first of a U.S. president to fly from the former to the latter. A major suicide bombing occurred in the United Kingdom during the visit, and Trump denied recognition to the attacker and other Islamic terrorists by calling them “losers.” Although not moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as hoped, President Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to visit the Western Wall, and the Administration stated that the Trump was in “Jerusalem, Israel.” President Trump did not mention anything about a Palestinian state, a two-state solution, or about Israeli settlements. It was also reported that the U.S. increased defense funding for Israel by $75 million.
  • May 25, 2017—At the 2017 NATO summit, President Trump strongly stated his position that the other NATO member states should meet their expected contributions to the organization.
  • May 26–27, 2017—At the 2017 G7 conference, President Trump focused on terrorism rather than climate change, as the other European leaders wished. Much to the consternation of the G7 world leaders,[76] who lobbied for President Trump to accept the Paris climate agreement, Trump stood firm and refused to pledge commitment to the accords so he could still deliberate over whether to stay in it. (Trump ultimately announced, on June 1, 2017, that the U.S. would leave the agreement and cease implementing it). President Trump was also reported as having refused to sign a declaration that stated the benefits as well as “pitfalls” of immigration.
  • May 27, 2017—President Trump concluded his trip by speaking to U.S. soldiers, as opposed to holding a press conference.
  • June 16, 2017—During a speech attended by opponents of Cuba’s Communist regime, President Trump partially reversed Obama’s pro-Cuba policies by restricting U.S. travel to Cuba and prohibit financial transactions that benefit the Cuban military. Additionally, Trump visibly took a much stronger position on Cuba to repatriate American criminal fugitives than Obama had done.
  • The Trump Administration successfully secured the release of several American prisoners held in foreign countries that the Obama Administration did not or could not release. It played a large role in successfully helping prevent CIA officer Sabrina de Sousa from being extradited to Italy, with the decision coming on March 1, 2017. On April 21, 2017, Egypt released an Egyptian-American who had been detained for three years. Additionally, according to the father of Otto Warmbier, who was held hostage in North Korea and then released in June 2017, the Obama Administration did not do enough to secure his release while the Trump Administration did secure his release.
  • July 5–8, 2017—President Trump made his second foreign trip, this time to Poland and Germany. President Trump promoted his “America First” policies during his trip. He and is actions during the trip were also the target of liberal mainstream media bias. Here are some highlights and achievements of the trip:
  • July 6, 2017—Ahead of the G-20 conference, President Trump traveled to Poland, the first European nation to receive an official visit from the president. Trump’s decision to visit Poland immediately before the G-20 summit was seen as a sign of support for its conservative and Eurosceptic government. Trump met with Polish President Andrzej Duda and stated that “we’ve never been closer to Poland than we are right now.” He attended the Three Seas Initiative, an alliance of 12 nations in Central and Eastern Europe, and promoted the U.S. as an energy exporter.

Part 4 Tomorrow.  Remember:  if you want a .pdf of this entire list, send me your email and when we complete this list I’ll email it to you:  dan@dnewman.org.

Thanks for reading!

 


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