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Socioeconomic Impacts Of Trump's Executive Orders - Published January 30th 2017

Since taking office, President Trump has caused more than his share of excitement and furor with a flurry of executive orders. These orders spur specific government agencies to take certain actions within their own areas of authority. Mr. Trump made some very explicit promises while on the campaign trail last year. His executive orders are mostly aimed at implementing the most significant of those promises.

Building the Wall
One of Trump's first orders showed him staying true to his most loudly proclaimed promise of the campaign road. He signed orders instructing the Department of Homeland Security to begin planning for the funding and construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.

This command does not actually set shovels to work yet but it is the first step in a long process that will require Congress to find money for the project. There has been widespread and loud discontent with this move from immigrants, entertainers and opposition politicians.

Immigration Bans
Amplifying his message regarding immigration, President Trump followed that earlier order to build a wall by excluding a long list of people from travelling to the US. Specifically, he ordered international airports to deny entry to people from seven Middle Eastern countries. This has caused strife for couples and families suddenly separated by an alteration in visa regulations.

Accelerated Deportations
Among many less-noted executive orders was an edict detailing how the border patrol should begin prioritizing deportations of specific individuals already being held. As with the above-mentioned orders, this action has created a great deal of legal interest on both sides of the partisan fence.

Furthermore, this action impacts many immigrant families that have members present in the US and others caught up in the legal system. Trump loudly announced his intent to remove immigrant with criminal backgrounds as the first step in a broad move to deport much of the undocumented population in the US.

Ending Obamacare
Among his very first actions was Trump's executive order to begin replacing the Affordable Care Act. This order did not actually end Obamacare but it signaled to supporters and opponents alike that the death knell for this government program had been sounded. Republican congressmen are now actively seeking to create alternatives that can replace Obamacare.

So far, public reaction has been mixed. Many of those who depend on Obamacare have publicly maligned the move as one that will devastate their finances. Others have applauded the move and complained that increased premiums have already distressed their own finances.

Goodbye TPP
Almost immediately, and to less public fanfare, President Trump ended potential American involvement in the Trans Pacific Partnership. This economic pact between countries trading in the Pacific region would have diminished trade barriers. However, many union leaders looked on the agreement with disfavor because it would have likely led to more jobs exiting the US.

Unlike the move against Obamacare, there is no secondary intent to replace this pact with anything. Trumps' s rhetoric, right from the beginning, has declared the need to eliminate or renegotiate all existing free trade agreements with extreme prejudice. So far, no order has directly impacted the North American Free Trade Agreement which binds Canada, the US and Mexico.

Abortion
Trump quickly reinstituted the Mexico-City Policy, a former ban on using federal funds to support any international group that performs abortions overseas. This does not have an impact on abortion law here in the US but it did send a strong message to domestic pro-choice groups.

The reaction was quick and pointed. Both male and female celebrities have criticized the move. Planned Parenthood, a women's health organization that provides, among other things, abortions to women of lower economic means, definitely noted the intent of this move. The March for Life came just one week after the Women's March on Washington and Vice President Mike Pence attended, signaling a stand-off between the administration and a large sector of the American public that agrees with abortion rights.

Lobbying Restrictions
Donald Trump the presidential nominee spent much of his time on the campaign trail promising to drain the swamp. This referred to the concentration of ex-federal bureaucrats in Washington DC who work now work for corporations and foreign countries in efforts to increase their employers' influence with the national government. One of the planks in Trump's party platform was the need to remove this body of lobbyists.

The new restrictions placed by the President's executive order prevent federal employees from working as lobbyists as all for five years after they leave employment and outright forbids them from ever working for a foreign government in such a capacity.

Keystone XL
Bringing jobs back to America was another cornerstone of Trump's campaign rhetoric. The wall on the Mexican border was one way to suddenly boost job opportunities for American citizens. Another quick fix was offered by the regulatory hold-up on the project to build an oil pipeline from Canadian oil fields to the Gulf of Mexico by way of the United States.

Trump's executive order to remove regulatory barriers was met with the expected mix of acclaim and dismay. While it would certainly create badly needed jobs for Americans in the construction business, the pipeline also impacts lands sacred to Native Americans and threatens potential environmental damage.

The socioeconomic impacts of these initial Trump executive orders are still being felt. Whether these orders can ever be brought to fruition will determine just how hard they impact life in the US.


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