From a hiring freeze to lobbying bans
On the campaign trail, Donald Trump made bold economic promises for his first 100 days in office.
Now, as his 100th day nears on Saturday, it’s clear President Trump won’t be able to keep many of them. The most noteworthy perhaps is his pledge to repeal and replace Obamacare, which failed when he couldn’t bring Republican lawmakers to consensus.
Tax reform certainly won’t be passed before the 100-day mark, even if a rough outline is revealed Wednesday.
“Voters will recall that Trump had promised large tax cuts for the middle class, as well as tax deductions for childcare and eldercare—a proposal championed by his daughter, Ivanka. The President also backed away from a promise to call China a “currency manipulator” on day one.
But that’s not to say Donald Trump has completely reneged on his pledges to voters. Here are seven economic promises he did keep in the first 100 days.
1. Pulling out of TPP
It took only a matter of days for the President to fulfill this promise. On his third full day in office, Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. The pact, which was negotiated by President Obama’s administration but never approved by Congress, had included 12 nations bordering the Pacific including Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico, and others.
Critics on both the right and left argued hard that the deal would hurt U.S. manufacturers and could displace American jobs. Even Hillary Clinton, who had supported the agreement while serving as secretary of state in the Obama administration, argued against TPP on the campaign trail.
By the time Trump won the election, it was a surprise to no one that TPP would not be ratified by Congress. And now, without the U.S. involvement, the behemoth trade deal is essentially dead.
2. Hiring freeze on federal workers
In another one of Trump’s first actions as President, he followed through on a campaign promise to freeze hiring of federal workers.
The goal was to reduce the federal workforce through attrition, but it’s unclear yet if the impact has been significant. The White House lifted the freeze in mid April, with budget director Mick Mulvaney noting that the administration was replacing it with a “a more surgical plan” to reduce federal jobs.
“It does not mean that the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly,” Mulvaney said.
3. Ban on lobbying by former administration officials
Indeed, Trump did pen an executive order banning executive branch officials from lobbying the U.S. government after they leave office. The restriction lasts five years, which is longer than the prior two-year ban imposed by President Obama.
The directive also imposes a lifetime ban on former White House officials lobbying foreign governments.
Trump had also promised to restrict congressional officials from lobbying the U.S. government for five years. As PolitiFact notes, federal lawmakers are already bound by law from engaging in lobbying activities for one to two years. Trump would have to convince Congress to override or amend that law if he wants to change the rules.
4. Refuse the $400,000 annual president’s salary or only take $1
President Trump gave his entire first-quarter salary, totaling $78,333, to the National Park service. Although his critics dismissed it as a publicity stunt, the gesture does fall in line with Trump’s campaign promise to refuse his presidential pay.
“It’s not as easy as you’d think” to give money to the government, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer noted earlier this month, after he handed over a ceremonial check to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
5. Lift roadblocks on the Keystone Pipeline
As promised, the Trump administration approved the construction of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. The State Department issued a permit to TransCanada on March 24, clearing the way for its construction after the Obama administration had blocked it.
However, the pipeline will not be required to use American-made steel as Trump had originally promised.
6. Lift restrictions on the energy industry
Last month, President Trump signed a sweeping executive order rolling back several of former President Obama’s signature environmental regulations.
The executive order immediately ended a moratorium on new leases for coal mining on federal land and initiated a formal review of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The review is the first step in a more lengthy process aimed at repealing or changing the rule, which is aimed at combatting climate change.
7. For every one new regulation, two will be repealed
When Trump met with business leaders during his first week in office, he told them his administration could cut regulations “by 75%, maybe more.”
Along with that goal, Trump signed an executive action on Jan. 30, ordering that for every one new regulation issued, federal agencies must identify two existing regulations to be eliminated Most regulations have to go through a lengthy review and comment process before they can be revoked, so the progress of his measure is difficult to measure at this stage in the game.