President Donald Trump is currently seeking his second term in office. He is currently facing a country struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic effects of the pandemic. In 2016 he ran on the phrase “Make America Great Again,” and in 2020, he is running on the idea of “Keeping America Great.” His policies on critical issues are critical in the 2020 election.
President Trump’s economic policy centers on tax cuts and cutting back restrictions on business. On the economy, many believe Trump would do a better job than Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. He promised to put “America First” by cutting taxes for the working class, lowering the corporate tax rate and bringing back American manufacturing jobs. Trump’s biggest success in office were his tax cuts. He also signed numerous executive orders supporting preferences for domestically produced goods. Since he took office, the US has added 480,000 manufacturing jobs, though his tariffs, according to the BBC, have slowed this growth. Trump predicts the economy will bounce back immediately after the pandemic; however, critics say his response to the pandemic will cause long term economic damage. Trade has also had a significant impact on his economic policy. He claims “America First” does not mean “America alone.” Trump is particularly hard on China. In his ongoing trade war to “end reliance on China,” he has raised border taxes on $500 billion of annual trade. In August, he said he wants to offer tax credits to US firms to move factories out of China. Trump has also imposed tariffs on goods from the European Union as well. He intends to continue these policies if re-elected
On foreign policy, President Trump has promised again to put “America First.” He has lived up to many of his campaign promises of pulling out of large multilateral agreements as he has pulled out of the Paris climate accord and pulling back from some multilateral organizations, like the World Health Organization. He has also challenged international alliances, calling for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) members to increase their defense spending. Additionally, after calling the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) the “worst trade deal ever made,” he renegotiated it to the USMCA, which went into effect in July. If re-elected he intends to try and cut down the number of U.S troops in places like Germany and Afghanistan. He has reached out to adversaries like North Korea and Russia while creating tension between historically close U.S allies. His big foreign policy success came recently, as he helped to broker a deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations.
Promises of “building a wall” and being tough on immigration are vital policies in the Trump administration. In his re-election campaign, he promises to continue construction on a U.S-Mexico border wall, as he has only secured funding for 445 miles of the 772-mile border. He plans, if re-elected, to shift the entire immigration system to a merit-based system. However, his immigration reform suffered a massive defeat in the Supreme Court after they ruled against his administration’s plan to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which protects about 650,000 young people who entered the U.S without documents as children.
Repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare has been one of President Trump’s main goals in office. He fell short of totally repealing the ACA but he has gotten rid of parts of the law like the individual mandates. In July, he signed an executive order that would allow discounts and import of cheaper drugs from abroad; whether this will lower drug costs or not is unknown. He declared the opioid crisis a national health emergency and offered $1.8 billion in federal funding to states for prevention, treatment and recovery measures. He has also taken steps to restrict opioid prescribing. If re-elected, he will continue to try to repeal and replace Obamacare, but with no clear plan to replace it, critics say it could be detrimental in battling the opioid crisis.
On criminal justice reform, President Trump is very proud of the First Steps Act, a 2018 bipartisan bill that reformed laws at the federal level, giving judges more discretion during sentencing and strengthening prisoner rehabilitation efforts. Trump has promised a Second Steps Act that would address employment barriers for former prisoners. He has been a big supporter of the police and has ramped up this support during nationwide protests against racial injustice. In June, President Trump signed an executive order introducing several police reforms, offering federal grants for improved practices, including creating a database to trace abuses by officers.