New Delhi: US president Donald Trump completes 100 days in office on Saturday. Many of the decisions he has taken are seen as in keeping with his campaign promises.
On some issues, Trump has been trumped by partisan US politics, bringing him face to face with the limits of his powers as president.
Ahead of his marking 100 days in office, Mint takes a look at some of the decisions the president has taken which have far-reaching implications for the US, the world and for India.
1. Pull-out from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP): Long promised throughout his election campaign, Trump signed the executive order to pull out of the TPP, days after his inauguration on 20 January. This saw China move in quickly to fill its place as the champion of globalisation.
2. Climate change: For now, the US seems to be adhering to the pact, though Trump’s “Energy Independence" executive order eliminates many Barack Obama-era restrictions on fossil fuel production. But it is unclear how the US will now achieve its carbon reduction goals.
3. Immigration: Trump has twice been challenged by the US courts on imposing a temporary travel ban on visitors from Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and Libya. Initially, Trump’s first executive order also applied to those holding green cards but was struck down.
4. Syria: After advocating a hands off approach towards the Syrian civil war, Trump authorised a Tomahawk missile attack targeting an airfield after a suspected chemical attack by the Syrian government. The US action has frayed ties with Russia, a country Trump seemed keen to keep as a friend.
1. The Wall to keep Mexicans out: As Trump completes 100 days in office, it is unsure where the money to build the wall will come from. Mexico has refused to pay so it looks like US taxpayers’ money will be paying for the construction.
2. Taxes: In a bid to keep American businesses in America, Trump has proposed slashing corporate tax rates to 15% from the current 35%, and 39.6% for small businesses. Overseas corporate profits returning to the country will also be taxed at 15%. The measure is expected to be welcomed at home by small businesses.
3. Rolling back Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act pushed through by Obama, a campaign promise of Trump, seemed easier said than done when a section of Republicans themselves opposed the repeal. It was a setback for Trump which put a question mark on his ability to enact other major promises like tax reform and infrastructure investment.
4. Michael Flynn resignation: Flynn’s appointment as Trump’s national security adviser ended in a controversy when he resigned within weeks of his appointment over contacts he had made with Russia before Trump was in office. There are also questions about the extent of Russian involvement in the 2016 US presidential polls.
5. Obama spy charge: Trump had to face embarrassment over unproven claims that the Obama administration tapped his phones during the 2016 presidential polls. He later attributed them to a Fox News channel lawyer, but stood by his claims.
1. H1B: Trump, underlining his “America First" policy, signed an order last week that he said will reform the visa program for foreign technical workers. H1B visas admit 65,000 workers and another 20,000 graduate student workers each year. Most of the visas are awarded to outsourcing firms. India is affected by the order given that its IT companies bring workers on H1B visas. Many Indians are returning home, thanks to Trump’s policy.
2. China: With Trump going back on his questioning of One China policy and requiring Beijing’s help to rein in a recalcitrant North Korea, it seems Trump will look to establish a working relation with China. This could mean bad news for India which had been eyeing the possibility of Trump employing a more muscular approach vis-a-vis Beijing.
3. Afghanistan: The US priority in Afghanistan seems to be to fight the IS while India would like the Trump administration to go after the rebel Taliban, which is believed to have the support of Pakistan and is intent on destabilising the Ashraf Ghani government.
4. Tax cuts: US tax cuts could mean bad news for “Make in India" in case US businesses find corporate tax rates more attractive at home.