United States: President Donald J. Trump

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Donald Trump spent the majority of his career as a real estate mogul and reality T.V. star.  Trump owns a series of hotels at home and abroad, as well as multiple golf resorts.  Trump also starred in a chain of reality T.V. shows, first The Apprentice, then its spin-off The Celebrity Apprentice.  Despite announcing his interest in the presidency in 2000 and 2012, Donald Trump ran in earnest for the first time in 2015, gaining the Republican Party’s nomination.  Trump ran on a strongly anti-establishment platform, fiercely criticizing Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, and the “swamp” of Washington D.C.  Trump appealed to blue collar, mostly white, voters and Evangelists because of his conservative social policies and promises to revive the manufacturing and coal industries.  He also promised to curb immigration by blocking refugees and building a border wall along the border between the United States and Mexico. Trump earned a surprising victory over Hillary Clinton in November 2017.

Since taking office, Trump has wholeheartedly pursued his agenda outlined over the course of his campaign.  In his first 100 days Trump nominated the conservative judge, Neil Gorsuch, to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.  He also implemented a so-called travel ban on the majority Muslim countries of Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Iraq.  He added Venezuela and North Korea to the list after being blocked by a federal judge.  Trump also crippled the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s healthcare legacy.  Trump recently announced his decision to block transgender Americans from serving in the military. Economically, Trump has been staunchly pro-American business. He has promised to negotiate better terms in NAFTA.  He has also cut corporation taxes to attract big corporations back to the United States. Diplomatically, Trump has pursued an America first, brash policy.  He has pulled the United States out of the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Paris Climate Agreements amid claims they put undue strain on the United States. Donald Trump has proved to take a large step away from President Obama’s multilateral diplomatic platform.

With the way that the G7 Summit ended, as Trump retracted his support from the communiqué and posted a series of angry tweets about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, it will be interesting to see his agenda for the G20 Summit. This largely depends on what occurs in the coming months regarding trade. As the G20 Summit focuses on financial stability, if the current tariffs Trump has imposed remain in place, this will likely be a central subject and theme of discussion during the summit. While some countries within the G20 Summit are exempt from these tariffs, including Argentina and Australia, there are many that are suffering from these tariffs, including Canada and European countries. Furthermore, Trump has recently proposed tariffs on auto imports, which if enforced will have widespread effects and also be an important topic of the G20 Summit.

“We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal”    

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