What Donald Trump did in his first week as President

Abortion, torture, pipelines, trade agreements, LGBT rights and the US-Mexico border wall. What happened during Trump’s first week leading the United States.

It’s been a week since Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States. It was a week of decisions, announcements, controversies, and tweets. Trump didn’t waste any time and mainly targeted the work made by his predecessor, Barack Obama, and ordered some of the most important (and debated) measures of his programme.

January, 20 – Rolling back Obamacare

In the first day in office, Trump signed his first executive order. From a symbolic point of view, it seems President Trump wanted it to be related to Obamacare, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Barack Obama enacted to allow millions of US citizens to have access to medical care.

Trump New York Times
The President of the United States, Donald Trump © TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

In the meantime, the White House internet pages dedicated to climate change and LGBT rights have been taken down, as well as the Spanish version of the website. Trump also announced to revive shale oil and gas, despite the environmental threats they pose, and a crackdown on working and student temporary visas. Lastly, he confirmed retired generals James Mattis and John Kelly at the lead of the Defense and Homeland Security departments.

January, 21 – Demonstrations and CIA

During his second day in office, Trump met with top CIA leaders and told he’s “1,000 per cent” with them. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protest his election, but he didn’t comment on the event.

January, 22 – Renegotiating NAFTA

Sunday started with the announcement of a renegotiation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), entered into force in January 1994 to create a free trade zone between the US, Canada, and Mexico. A meeting between Trump and Mexico’s president Enrique Peña Nieto was scheduled to discuss the issue. Nieto, however, decided to cancel it after the attacks from Washington.

Messico Usa frontiera
A farmer waves a Mexican flag on the border with the United States ©REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez

January, 23 – Targeting TPP and abortion

Another free trade agreement was targeted by Trump – the TPP. The Trans Pacific Partnership is a trade agreement signed in 2015 by 12 countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States). It represented one of the top priorities of the Obama administration, which was waiting for the Congress’ ratification.

In the same day, Trump attacked the abortion right, signing an executive order to ban US funding destined to international NGOs that perform or support abortions. It’s a move that comes 44 years after the historic decision of the US Supreme Court of making abortion legal in the United States (and 2 days after the unprecedented demonstration organised by women in favour of their rights).

January, 24 – Reviving pipelines

On Tuesday, two pipelines strongly opposed by environmental associations have been revived. The first is the Keystone XL pipeline, which is supposed to carry tar sands from Canada to southern US. The second is the Dakota Access pipeline, a project of 3.8 billion dollars of the Energy Transfer Partners LP, opposed by Native Americans.

January, 25 – Mexico border wall and torture

Wednesday was characterised by the Mexico border wall issue. It is one of the most debated promises Trump has made as he aims to limit migrations from Mexico. There’s more. Trump also announced an executive order to limit visas to people coming from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

President Trump also reaffirmed that he is in favour of torture used to obtain information from prisoners. This includes waterboarding, practiced by CIA in secret prisons against suspect terrorists back during George W. Bush’s presidency, and banned during Obama’s.

January, 26 – A tax on Mexican products

During Trump’s 7th day at the lead of the United States, the debate focused on the funds needed to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. After Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Mexico will not pay for the wall, Trump struck back. He announced a 20% tax on all Mexican imports to pay for a southern border wall.

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