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Before Trump’s State of the Union, a look at how last year’s promises fared

Before Trump’s State of the Union, a look at how last year’s promises fared

In his first State of the Union handle last yr, President Donald Trump outlined his imaginative and prescient for an “America first” strategy to overhauling the immigration system, revitalizing manufacturing and prioritizing nationwide pursuits overseas.

As Trump prepares to ship his second tackle Tuesday, which can also be anticipated to spotlight the president’s immigration agenda, right here’s an evaluation of his progress on the promises he made last yr.

— Immigration


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“It is time to reform these outdated immigration rules, and finally bring our immigration system into the 21st century. These four pillars represent a down-the-middle compromise, and one that will create a safe, modern and lawful immigration system. For over 30 years, Washington has tried and failed to solve this problem. This Congress can be the one that finally makes it happen.”

Standing: Unfulfilled.

Makes an attempt to move a complete immigration overhaul failed in Congress, with proposals backed by the White Home receiving the least help.

The “four pillars” Trump described are offering a pathway to citizenship for the immigrants initially delivered to the U.S. as youngsters, generally known as Dreamers; constructing a wall on the southern border; ending the “diversity lottery” visa program; and limiting family-based immigration.

In February 2018, the Senate rejected three immigration payments. The White Home plan, which met all 4 of Trump’s necessities, acquired the fewest votes. The 2 different payments didn’t fulfill all the necessities. In June, the Home rejected one other invoice that included the 4 pillars in addition to a extra hard-line measure that didn’t present a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, who have been delivered to the nation illegally as youngsters.

And Trump’s handle this yr comes after a 35-day authorities shutdown, the longest ever, over the president’s demand for border wall funding.

— Manufacturing and commerce


“Chrysler is moving a major plant from Mexico to Michigan; Toyota and Mazda are opening up a plant in Alabama. Soon, plants will be opening up all over the country.”

Standing: Unfulfilled.

Toyota and Mazda broke floor on their $1.6 billion three way partnership in Alabama in November. Chrysler had introduced that it might transfer manufacturing of heavy-duty pickups — not the plant itself — from Mexico to Michigan, however has since paused these plans.

A database maintained by the Reshoring Initiative, a group that encourages corporations to maneuver again to the United States, listed plans by Chevrolet to increase automotive battery manufacturing in Michigan, Ford’s unveiling of a 3D printing operation in the state and the opening of a new manufacturing unit in Ohio by a Japanese firm that makes prototype elements.

However no different firm has introduced or opened a new meeting plant in the United States. In distinction, Basic Motors stated it might idle 5 automotive factories.

New guidelines for automakers in the successor to the North American Free Commerce Settlement would require automakers to ultimately produce 75 % — up from 62.5 % — of a car’s content material in North America to qualify for zero tariffs.

However the deal nonetheless awaits congressional ratification. And the modifications would do little to encourage funding in the United States since “most vehicles are going to be able to get over those new thresholds pretty easily,” stated Kristin Dziczek, vice chairman for business, labor and economics at the Middle for Automotive Analysis in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Even when the administration raised tariffs on overseas automotive imports, spurring funding in the United States, automakers would nonetheless be aware of the volatility of Trump’s commerce insurance policies and “investment would sit on the sidelines,” Dziczek stated.

Employment in the auto business has elevated slightly below Trump’s watch, to about 1 million in November 2018 from 955,800 in January 2017. The quantity of automobiles manufactured in the United States has continued to say no, even after a slight uptick last summer time. In accordance with the Reshoring Initiative, bulletins to extend funding or transfer corporations again to the United States peaked in 2016.


“We will work to fix bad trade deals and negotiate new ones. And we will protect American workers and American intellectual property, through strong enforcement of our trade rules.”

Standing: Fulfilled.

Trump has renegotiated NAFTA and a bilateral commerce cope with South Korea.

Whereas the modifications to the South Korea settlement have been modest, the revised NAFTA strengthens mental property rights in Canada. An investigation into China’s commerce practices concluded that Beijing had, amongst different unfair commerce practices, violated U.S. mental property rights. As a end result, the Trump administration imposed tariffs on $250 billion value of Chinese language merchandise. The 2 sides are in talks over a commerce deal to resolve the dispute.

— Well being care


“People who are terminally ill should not have to go from country to country to seek a cure — I want to give them a chance right here at home. It is time for the Congress to give these wonderful Americans the ‘right to try.’”

Standing: Fulfilled.

Trump signed “Right to Try” laws into regulation in Might, permitting terminally unwell sufferers to hunt entry to experimental drugs that isn’t accredited by the Meals and Drug Administration.

An identical program referred to as compassionate use, or expanded entry, has been in place since the 1970s, and the FDA says it authorizes 99 % of the requests it receives. The brand new regulation permits sufferers, with the approval of their physician, to ask drug corporations immediately for entry, slightly than watch for approval by the company.


“That is why I have directed my administration to make fixing the injustice of high drug prices one of our top priorities. Prices will come down.”

Standing: Partially fulfilled.

Drug costs are nonetheless growing, albeit at decrease charges than in earlier years.

An Related Press evaluation discovered that from January to July 2018, drug corporations raised costs on greater than four,400 merchandise, with a median improve of 5.2 %. That was decrease than the median improve of eight % for the similar interval in 2017. Drug costs have continued to extend on lots of of medicines this yr.

— Infrastructure


“Tonight, I am calling on the Congress to produce a bill that generates at least $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment we need.”

Standing: Unfulfilled.

No complete invoice has emerged since Trump nudged Congress to behave.

An in depth model of Trump’s proposal, launched by the White Home in February 2018, pledged $200 billion in federal funding (lower than half of what the Trump transition workforce promised in December 2016). The cash would come from financial savings from different cuts in the federal finances, in line with the White Home, and would spur states and personal corporations to take a position $1.5 trillion in infrastructure over the subsequent decade.

But Congress has not handed any invoice that may make good on this $200 billion proposal. Draft laws to briefly improve the fuel tax to shore up the Freeway Belief Fund was by no means formalized or voted on.

— Accountability in authorities


“I call on the Congress to empower every Cabinet secretary with the authority to reward good workers — and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.”

Standing: Unfulfilled.

Trump signed an government order in Might making it simpler to fireside authorities staff, however a federal decide struck down most of its provisions. An analogous invoice was launched in the Home however didn’t advance to a vote.

— Army


“For this reason, I am asking the Congress to end the dangerous defense sequester and fully fund our great military.”

Standing: Partially fulfilled.

Whereas Congress has not but repealed the protection sequester limiting army spending, lawmakers successfully ignored it and elevated funding last yr.

The Finances Management Act of 2011 imposes caps on federal spending for the subsequent decade, to compel Congress to seek out financial savings in the finances. If lawmakers don’t scale back spending, “sequestration” kicks in and enforces the caps. Later spending offers raised the caps, limiting army spending to $549 billion in the 2018 fiscal yr and $562 billion in the 2019 fiscal yr.

Trump signed laws that allotted the Pentagon $629 billion and $647 billion in 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, far exceeding the spending limits. (These figures don’t embrace a separate Pentagon account for conflict spending.)

Whereas the sequester continues to be in place for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, it isn’t troublesome to think about lawmakers and the president persevering with to boost the cap — rendering the sequester moot.

— Overseas coverage


“That is why, tonight, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign-assistance dollars always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.”

Standing: Unfulfilled.

Congress ignored Trump’s calls to drastically scale back overseas assist, as an alternative approving budgets that included billions greater than the president had requested, and made no vital modifications to overseas assist coverage.

Sarah Rose, an analyst at the Middle for International Improvement, stated the administration had been constrained by Congress — and its personal “fundamental inconsistency” in funneling cash to buddies and allies whereas concurrently giving assist to nations which may not in any other case obtain it in an effort to counter China’s affect.

Trump has threatened to chop off assist to Central American nations over migrant caravans, and Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, had proposed making assist contingent on help for U.S.-backed insurance policies at the United Nations.

But the quantity of help given to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador has been typical. And whereas the United States did finish funding for Palestinian refugees in August, it didn’t comply with by way of on withholding assist from nations that voted for a U.N. decision condemning Trump’s determination to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, stated Jeremy Konyndyk, a former director of the overseas catastrophe help program at the U.S. Company for Worldwide Improvement.

“The issue is that he made a promise that was well beyond his ability to accomplish,” Konyndyk stated. “The president is not a monarch and can’t just do things unilaterally.”