Advertisement
  •  

Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 19, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

ColumnsProgressive Pundit

Trump’s plans are a step backward

Last week, many Americans, myself included, were shocked when Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States. While this was not the outcome many of us were looking for, we will have to endure at least four years with Trump in the White House and at least two with a Republican-led Congress. Following the election, Trump released a plan for what he hoped to achieve in his first hundred days of office. This includes undoing much of the progress that was made in the past several years and would, if implemented, be bad for the country.

Withdrawing from international trade deals was listed as a top priority for Trump. This includes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has been widely criticized for hurting middleclass Americans and not being negotiated in a transparent manner. However, free trade often has many economic benefits. It can increase the number of exports from the U.S. and bolster the gross domestic product. Both Republicans and Democrats are divided over whether to support TPP. Trump might actually gain some allies among Democrats who are against trade deals, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). Withdrawing from TPP and other trade deals could harm U.S. relations with the other countries that signed these deals, as these countries also benefit economically from the increased free trade.

Trump will not see much bipartisan support for his plans to lift measures that protect the environment. He will remove the restrictions on production of U.S. energy from fossil fuels. This may benefit the economy by opening up more energy sources, but an increase in fossil fuel production and use will have devastating consequences for the environment. The entire planet would be better off if we spent money on clean and renewable energy. Since Trump has continuously called global warming a hoax, it is likely he will continue to propose policies that would harm the planet.

Trump also announced plans to remove all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. and suspend immigration from “terror-prone regions.” Though immigrants have been scapegoated for taking American jobs, there are actually many economic benefits to immigration, such as filling labor shortages that American workers are not able to fill. A ban on immigrants from certain regions will target the people who most need a place to go, including refugees from Syria. Preventing immigration goes against the ideals of freedom and opportunity that the U.S. was built on and will not actually save American jobs or solve any other problems.