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 2016.

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.

Prior to the G7 Summit, Trump suggested that Russia be readmitted into the group. However, this was widely opposed by the other political leaders participating in the summit, as Russia was forced out of the summit in 2014 due to its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. In discussions during the summit regarding trade and tariffs, the G7 leaders made a communiqué that “advocated a rules-based trading system.”  However, Trudeau later stated in a news conference that Canada would establish retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. in response to Trump’s aluminium and steel tariffs. Trump then retracted his support from the communiqué and posting a series of angry tweets as he travelled to Singapore to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. His tweets called Trudeau, “dishonest and weak.”  He further voiced through Twitter that the U.S. tariffs are in response to Canadian tariffs, which hurt U.S. farmers and agriculture.

“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.” – Donald Trump

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