Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Thirty reasons why we welcome you, Mr President


I CHECK Twitter. I see Emily Thornberry’s face. I think, ‘Let’s hear what she has to say.’ It’s the first mistake of the day. The Shadow Foreign Secretary says the President is destroying the values that have always united Britain and America. My goal is not to change the Right Honourable Lady’s opinion of Mr Trump; that is set in stone. My goal in writing this piece is to bring to attention one or two or thirty of President Trump’s achievements in the thirty months since he won the election. I will focus on the lesser-known topics, not the booming economy the US has achieved since President Trump took office.

1: The Inspiring the Next Space Pioneers, Innovators, Researchers, and Explorers (INSPIRE) Act, signed into law by President Trump, focused on increasing the role of women in the STEM fields. The Act compels NASA actively to promote STEM subjects to women and girls and encourages women to pursue careers in aerospace. Currently, only one in four women who receive a STEM degree ends up working in a STEM field.

2: The Promoting Women in Entrepreneurship Act was signed by President Trump in 2017 and authorises the National Science Foundation to support entrepreneurial programmes aimed at women. The Act encourages women to extend their focus beyond the laboratory and into the commercial world.

3: The Administration helped launch the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative which is set to release more than $1billion for women entrepreneurs.

4: In February 2019, the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched by the President. The initiative intends to reach 50million women in the developing world by 2025. The goal of the initiative is to provide ‘women with quality education, training, and support, so they can secure and thrive in well-paying jobs in their local economies’.

5: One of President Trump’s early executive orders dealt with the re-establishment of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The President moved the initiative from the Department of Education to the Executive Office of the President and appropriated $360million to historically black institutions, a record amount.

6: The opioid crisis was declared a public health emergency in October 2017. The Trump administration has secured $6billion to fight opioid abuse; $2billion has been provided in grants to help States, territories, tribes, and local communities prevent and treat opioid abuse.

7: A year after declaring the public health emergency the President signed into law The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. The Act makes addiction treatment a priority, prevents overprescription and trains law enforcement officers to intercept shipments, which has led to the first indictments against Chinese nationals for fentanyl trafficking.

8: President Trump has ended the gag clauses that stopped pharmacists from informing patients about lower drug prices.

9: President Trump’s blueprint to lower drug prices has led more than a dozen drug manufactures to enact price freezes, rollbacks, or reductions.

10: In 2018, the FDA approved a record number of generic drugs which will lead to savings of $9billion for American patients.

11: ‘Right to Try’ legislation has expanded access to experimental treatments for terminally ill patients. This provides new treatment opportunities for patients who have tried all existing options.

12: An executive order passed in 2017 bans colleges and universities from receiving federal research grants if they fail to promote free speech.

13: The Department of Justice has received nearly $100million in grant funding to hire additional law enforcement officers.

14: President Trump’s policy of cracking down on the international crime gang MS-13 is starting to bear fruit. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations arrested nearly 800 MS-13 members in the fiscal year 2017, an 83 per cent increase on the previous year.

15: ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) arrested 158,581 aliens in the fiscal year 2018, an 11 per cent increase on the previous year. Ninety per cent of those arrested had criminal convictions, pending charges, or had been issued final orders of removal.

16: Removal of convicted criminal aliens increased by 14 per cent from 2017.

17: President Trump launched the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE). The office’s mission is to ‘provide proactive, timely, adequate, and professional services to victims of crimes committed by removable aliens’.

18: The First Step Act is designed to boost prisoner rehabilitation and create a fairer sentencing system. Crack cocaine is a drug predominantly used in poor black communities; crimes related to crack cocaine carry sentences 18 months longer than crimes related to powder cocaine. More than 500 people with unfair sentences have been released from prison.

19: The Act also expands training programs to reduce recidivism.

20: The fight against ISIS is all but over. President Trump gave military commanders the authority to attack ISIS and this has led to ISIS losing nearly all of its territory, with more than half being liberated since President Trump took office.

21: All of ISIS’s territory in Iraq was liberated.

22: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 saw the largest military pay rise in nearly a decade.

23: The creation of a US Space Force is a much-needed initiative to catch up with Russia and China’s anti-satellite weapons. Ninety-five per cent of Space Force’s budget will come from funds transferred from other areas of the military, with only an additional annual increase of $500million (0.07 per cent of the Department of Defense budget).

24: Just as only Nixon could go to China, only Trump could meet Kim. Prior to the historic summit with Chairman Kim Jong-Un, the Trump administration obtained the release of three American hostages.

25: ‘Jaw-jaw is always better than war-war’: President Trump’s meeting with Chairman Kim has made a lasting peace more likely on the peninsula.

26: The Trump administration has closed two Russian compounds and expelled 35 diplomats in response to Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.

27: The administration also imposed sanctions against Russian agents for their efforts to cause harm to US cybersecurity.

28: The VA Mission Act has allowed eligible veterans to have access to walk-in community clinics that offer immediate, local care. The Department of Veterans Affairs has received a record $73.1billion in funding. This funding included $8.6billion for mental health services, $400million for opioid abuse prevention, and $206million for suicide prevention.

29: President Trump implemented a five-year ban on lobbying for White House employees and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries.

30: The President donates his salary to charity.

There seems to be a lack of knowledge about the President’s time in office; I hope this list has gone some way to start a sensible dialogue about his achievements.

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Michael Walker
Michael Walker
Michael Walker is a professor at Dongseo University in the Republic of Korea. He teaches classes on US History and The Civil Rights Movement.

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