Trump's second-term agenda: Trade wars, mass deportations, destroying 'deep state'

Republican presidential candidate has pledged at times to use federal law enforcement agencies to investigate his political foes

By Reuters

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

 

Published: Mon 27 May 2024, 7:35 PM

Donald Trump plans to deport millions of migrants, reshape global trade with expensive tariffs and fill the government with loyalists if he wins a second four-year White House term in the November presidential election.

Here is a look at some of the policies Trump has pledged to institute:


TRADE

Trump, a Republican, has floated the idea of a 10% or more tariff on all goods imported into the U.S., a move he says would eliminate the trade deficit, but critics say would lead to higher prices for American consumers and global economic instability. He has also said he should have the authority to set higher tariffs on countries that have put tariffs on American imports. He has threatened to impose a 200% tariff on some imported cars. Trump has targeted China in particular. He proposes phasing out Chinese imports of goods such as electronics, steel and pharmaceuticals over four years. He seeks to prohibit Chinese companies from owning U.S. infrastructure in the energy and tech sectors.


FEDERAL BUREAUCRACY

Trump would seek to decimate what he terms the "deep state" – career federal employees he says are clandestinely pursuing their own agendas – through an executive order that would reclassify thousands of workers to enable them to be fired. That would likely be challenged in court. He has vowed to fire what he terms corrupt actors in national security positions and "root out" his political opponents.

Trump has said he would require every federal employee to pass a new civil service test of his own creation, though his practical authorities to do so are limited. Close allies are also vetting scores of potential hires who could be counted on to implement his policies, and Trump has suggested they must adhere to his belief that the 2020 election was fraudulent.

He would crack down on federal whistleblowers who are typically shielded by law and would institute an independent body to "monitor" U.S. intelligence agencies.

INVESTIGATING ENEMIES

Trump has pledged at times to use federal law enforcement agencies to investigate his political foes. Along that line, Trump has said he will consider appointing a special prosecutor to probe Democratic President Joe Biden, though he has not specified the grounds for such an investigation. He said he is waiting to see how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on his own claims of presidential immunity for guidance.

He has also said the Justice Department would investigate district attorneys on novel civil rights grounds, arguing that some local prosecutors are engaging in an unconstitutional form of selective enforcement.

And he has said he would consider firing a U.S. attorney who did not follow his directives - which would constitute a break with the longstanding U.S. policy of an independent federal law enforcement apparatus. Trump's allies are developing a plan that would curtail the Justice Department's independence and pack its ranks with more political appointees loyal to the president.

ENERGY

Trump has vowed to increase U.S. production of fossil fuels by easing the permitting process for drilling on federal land and would encourage new natural gas pipelines. He has said he will again pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords, a framework for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, and would support increased nuclear energy production. He would also roll back Biden's electric-vehicle mandates and other policies aimed at reducing auto emissions.

ECONOMY

Along with his trade and energy agendas, Trump has promised to slash federal regulations that he says limit job creation. He has pledged to keep in place a broad 2017 tax cut that he signed while in office, and his economic team has discussed a further round of individual and corporate tax cuts beyond those enacted in his first term. He said as president he would pressure the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates.

IMMIGRATION

Trump has vowed to reinstate his first-term policies targeting illegal border crossings, roll back Biden's pro-immigrant measures and forge ahead with sweeping new restrictions.

Trump has pledged to limit access to asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border and embark on the biggest deportation effort in American history, which would likely trigger legal challenges and opposition from Democrats in Congress.

He has said he will employ the National Guard, and, if necessary, federal troops, to achieve his objective, and he has not ruled out setting up internment camps to process people for deportation.

Trump has said he would seek to end automatic citizenship for children born to immigrants, a move that would run against the long-running interpretation of the U.S. Constitution.

ABORTION

Trump appointed three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court who were part of the majority that did away with constitutional protection for abortion. He likely would continue to appoint federal judges who would uphold abortion limits.

At the same time, he has said a federal abortion ban is unnecessary and that the issue should be resolved at the state level. He has argued a six-week ban favored by some Republicans is overly harsh and that any legislation should include exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. He has also come out in opposition to an even stricter ban that a court allowed to be put in place in Arizona.

Even so, Trump has said that states, if they choose, could monitor women's pregnancies and prosecute them if they undergo the procedure beyond the period permitted.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Trump has been critical of U.S. support for Ukraine in its war with Russia and has said he could end the war in 24 hours if elected, although he has not said how he would do that.

Trump has also said that under his presidency, the U.S. would fundamentally rethink "NATO's purpose and NATO's mission." Though he has put forward few tangible policy proposals, he told Reuters in an interview last year that Ukraine may have to cede some territory to reach a peace agreement.

Trump objected to a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine for months, and some Republicans in Congress refused to back it. Congress finally approved the package in late April, and Trump has since suggested Ukraine's security is an important U.S. interest.

Trump has supported Israel in its fight against Hamas but has criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's initial handling of the conflict. On the campaign trail, he has also floated sending armed forces into Mexico to battle drug cartels.

EDUCATION

Trump has pledged to require colleges and universities to "defend American tradition and Western civilization" and purge them of diversity programs. He said he would direct the Justice Department to pursue civil rights cases against schools that engage in racial discrimination.

On the K-12 level, Trump would support programs allowing parents to use public funds for private or religious instruction.

CRIME

Trump says he would institute the death penalty for human traffickers and drug dealers. He also has suggested that looters of retail stores could be shot while on site.

He says he does not believe federal statistics that show violent crime dropping in U.S. cities. He has said he will consider pardoning all of those who have been convicted of crimes in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.



More news from Opinion