Has Donald Trump Delivered His 2016 Promises?

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Donald Trump says he will make "America great again" in front of his supporters during his speech at the 2016 RNC in Cleveland.

As Trump seeks another term for the presidency, many people question his achievements for the past nearly four years.

In 2016, Donald Trump was a Republican presidential candidate back then, who was knocking on every American’s door to be the 45th president of the United States of America. He wasn’t different from any presidential candidates that spoke about his vision of the country if he gets elected.

He also made headlines when he promised to build a wall along the border in Mexico, and let them pay for it. On top of this, his campaign was focused on changing policies on taxes, trade, immigration, and foreign policy – plans that would “make America great again.”

With almost four years in the White House, did he fulfill his pledges?

Jobs

Though Bill Clinton topped the list, incumbent President Trump created 4.7 million jobs in his first three years – a 3.1% increase over the 152.2 million jobs during Obama’s time.

For the first 30 months of his presidency, 314,000 manufacturing jobs were added – 170% advantage than during Obama’s term. US Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that employers placed 224, 000 jobs that decreased the country’s unemployment rate to 3.7% in June last year.

In June 2020, after the coronavirus shutdown, payrolls escalated to 4.8 million, which has been the highest recorded by the Labor Department since 1939. This spike in hiring was a result of the reopening of factories and restaurants.

“Our economy is roaring back,” Trump said infront of reporters during a briefing in the White House. “It’s coming back extremely strong,” he assured.

And in mid-June, COVID-19 cases in many states were continuously rising that worried employees and employers alike. However, separate data showed that unemployment fell to only 1.43 million, which Oxford Economics called “worryingly small decline.”

Cuts on Taxes

Before the election, Trump vowed to lessen every American’s burden on tax. He said he would decrease the corporate tax rate and cut huge tax for workers.

On December 20, 2017, Trump received an early Christmas present, demonstrating the Republican power in the White House.

After more than a year, the Republican tax plan was finally approved, which was the largest overhaul of the tax code for the past thirty years. Though he initially promised to bring down corporate tax from 35% to 15%, it became 21% instead. The bill also included cuts to individual tax provisions with 2025 expiry, which could be renewed by future administrations, if they wish to.

Paris Climate Deal

During his 2016 campaigns, Trump claimed climate change was a hoax fabricated by China that has been suffocating America. He said that Paris’ regulations were hindering America’s growth.

True to his words, he announced his intention of withdrawing America’s participation in climate mitigation on June 1, 2017. He stated that the country would cease all its participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement and expressed his determination to re-enter into new terms that are fair to the United States, including its people.

Mr. Trump said, “The Paris accord will undermine the US economy.” He mentioned that it puts the country at a permanent disadvantage.

According to the Paris Agreement (Article 28), a certain country cannot withdraw its participation from the agreement before three years of its start date, which was November 4, 2016, in the case of the US. On November 4, 2019, Trump’s administration issued a formal notice of intention to withdraw that will take effect after a year, the earliest possible.

So, even if it gets approved on November 4 this year, one day after the 2020 election, it is obvious that this withdrawal was made during his administration through his effort.

Restore National Security through Military Funding

Before the election in 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to expand military investment.

In his second year as the president, the military received an additional $61 billion funding, boosting its overall budget to $700 billion in 2018.

The Pentagon and its supporters in Congress said that this money was needed after budget constraints were imposed under a 2011 budget deal, which lessened military readiness.

In December 2019, Trump approved a huge defense bill that allows a $738-billion budget for the fiscal year 2020. The National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA included a $658.4-base fund and an additional $71.5-billion budget for contingency operations overseas.

Along with this, troops also receive a 3.1% wage increase, family leave for all federal employees, and the establishment of a Space Force, which aims to protect the interests of the United States in space.

NAFTA Negotiations

On one of his campaigns, Trump announced his plans on his first 100 days in the White House if elected as the president. He assured to implement measures on his very first day in the office to clean corruption.

One of these is his intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the agreement under Article 2205.

In August 2018, one of his promises was delivered. His administration secured a preliminary NAFTA agreement that reconsiders the United States’ welfare. It also includes economic growth, support for high-paying jobs for American workers, and protection for American intellectual property.

Furthermore, this preliminary deal is also beneficial for North American farmers, ranchers, businesses, and workers.

Trump also made clear that he intended to modernize the 24-year-old NAFTA, which he thought was hurting American businesses and jobs. He claimed the old NAFTA resulted in the closing of factories, exported jobs, and crippled political promises.

On September 30, 2018, President Trump signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement that was expected to create 600,000 jobs and add $235 billion to the economy. This deal is aimed to modernize NAFTA into a 21st century-high standard agreement that will mutually benefit North America.

Obamacare (Partially delivered)

Trump and his party pledged on repealing and replacing Obamacare on his 2016 election campaigns. They claimed that it puts too much burden on businesses that led to the increase of unemployment.

On the day he was sworn as the President of America on January 20, 2016, President Trump signed an executive order directing the administration officials to “to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” the implementation of some parts of the Affordable Care Act, while the Congress prepares for the repealing and replacing of former President Obama’s signature health care law.

Though his administration has not managed to reform or repeal the bill, Trump was able to change some parts of it. Initially, members had 90 days to sign up for insurance on the federal marketplace. Under Trump’s changes, it was shortened to 45 days.

He also cut down Obamacare’s advertisement expenses to $10 million, which is a 95% reduction. Also, funding for organizations and trained individuals that are meant for helping sign up to the bill was reduced to $10 million from $62.5 million.

These are only a few of President Donald Trump’s accomplishments on his first term. On November 3, 2020, Americans decide if they will give him another four-year-opportunity to continue his unmet promises in 2016 or completely forget about these, and move on with another string of promises from another candidate.

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