- The Second
180 Days «
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2017
PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP: YEAR ONE OF MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
“From now on, America will be empowered by our aspirations, not burdened by our fears; inspired by the future, not bound by the failures of the past; and guided by our vision, not blinded by our doubts.”
– President Donald J. Trump
JUMPSTARTING AMERICA’S WORKERS AND ECONOMIC ENGINE: President Trump has put the American economy into high-gear, creating jobs and increasing wealth.
· Under President Trump’s leadership, Congress passed historic tax cuts and relief for hardworking Americans not seen since President Reagan.
o The Tax Cuts Act provides $5.5 trillion in tax cuts, of which $3.2 trillion, or nearly 60 percent, goes to families.
o A typical family of four earning $75,000 will save more than $2,000 in income tax cuts.
o The Tax Cuts Act nearly doubles the standard deduction.
o The vast majority of American families will be able to file their taxes on a single page.
o The Tax Cuts Act will repeal Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate.
· The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate increased at or above 3 percent for two quarters in a row for the first time in three years.
o Third quarter GDP growth rate was 3.2 percent.
o Second quarter GDP growth rate was 3.1 percent.
· During President Trump’s first year, nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate in nearly 17 years.
o The manufacturing industry has created 159,000 jobs.
o The mining and logging industry has created 57,000 jobs.
o Thirteen states have reached record low unemployment rates.
· The Dow Jones Industrial Average index has hit record highs more than 60 times under President Trump, including closing higher than 24,000 points for the first time in its history.
o Since President Trump’s election, more than $5 trillion in wealth has been added to the U.S. economy.
· Economic confidence has rebounded to record highs under President Trump as his pro-growth policies have and continue to put American workers and businesses first.
o The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in November to a 17-year high of 129.5.
o The National Association of Manufacturers’ Outlook Index had the highest annual average in its history.
· President Trump signed an Executive Order on expanding apprenticeships, recognizing the need for more quality alternatives to four-year college degrees.
o The Executive Order sets in motion a new process that will make it easier for businesses to create and scale apprenticeship programs, providing many more Americans access to an affordable education that leads to a good-paying job.
· President Trump signed a Memorandum directing the Secretary of Education to prioritize STEM education with a particular focus on computer science.
o Leading private sector technology companies and organizations pledged over $300 million to amplify the President’s computer science initiative.
· The Trump Administration has prioritized the economic empowerment of women as a key element of our commitment to economic growth and gender equality.
o This year, the Small Business Administration has lent approximately $500 million more than last year in capital to women-owned businesses.
ENDING JOB KILLING REGULATIONS: President Trump is rolling back wasteful and costly regulations that have stood in the way of hardworking Americans.
· In order to control regulatory costs, President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that two regulations must be eliminated for every one created.
o President Trump’s Administration surpassed the 2:1 ratio, eliminating 22 regulations for every new regulation.
o In FY 2017, President Trump’s Administration saved over $8.1 billion in lifetime regulatory costs.
· President Trump has signed 15 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, more than any other president, ending burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations.
· By announcing our intention to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, President Trump protected America from a bad deal that would have harmed America’s economy and workers.
o According to a study by NERA Economic Consulting, implementing the Obama Administration’s plan under the Paris Climate Agreement could have cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.
· President Trump signed an Executive Order with the goal of dramatically reducing the time for permit approvals for infrastructure projects from up to 10 years to an average of 2 years.
· President Trump eliminated the Obama Administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which unfairly targeted the coal industry with estimated costs of $81 million a year.
PROMOTING FAIR AND RECIPROCAL TRADE: President Trump is putting America first in trade so American workers aren’t put at a disadvantage.
· One of President Trump’s first actions was to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, advancing his agenda to protect American workers.
· The Trump Administration has begun renegotiations of trade agreements that have contributed to the U.S. trade deficit and harmed American workers.
o Renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement are underway to modernize the deal so all countries benefit from it.
· President Trump has worked to bring foreign investment back to the United States so more goods are made in America by American workers.
o South Korean companies announced 64 projects that will invest more than $17 billion in the United States over four years and will purchase $58 billion in goods and services.
o Foxconn announced it was investing $10 billion in Wisconsin to build a factory that will employ thousands of workers directly and up to 22,000 workers indirectly.
o Toyota and Mazda announced a $1.6 billion investment in a new manufacturing plant in the United States that will create an estimated 4,000 jobs.
o At the White House, Broadcom Limited announced they were moving their headquarters back to the United States, bringing $20 billion in annual revenue.
· President Trump has worked to promote the sale of more American products abroad.
o On his first overseas trip, President Trump and King Salman of Saudi Arabia oversaw the signing of a historic $400 billion in deals between U.S. and Saudi companies.
· The Trump Administration has made enforcement of U.S. trade laws a top priority and has already made significant progress.
o To defend U.S. national security interests, President Trump blocked a foreign company from acquiring a U.S. business for only the fourth time in history.
o Since President Trump was sworn into office, the Department of Commerce has initiated 79 antidumping and countervailing duties (AD/CVD) investigations.
o The U.S. Trade Representative self-initiated a Section 301 investigation into whether Chinese policies, acts, and practices related to technology transfer, licensing, and intellectual property are unreasonable or discriminatory. This is the first use of Section 301 since 2001.
· President Trump delivered on his promise to roll back the Obama Administration’s bad deal on Cuba, which benefitted the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people.
ADVANCING AMERICAN ENERGY DOMINANCE: President Trump is reversing years of policies that locked-up American energy and restricted our ability to sell to other countries.
· The Department of the Interior is planning to auction off leases for nearly 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling starting in March, the largest offering ever.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order to expand offshore oil and gas drilling and to reissue a leasing program to develop offshore resources.
· President Trump has acted aggressively to increase exports of our energy resources to the global market.
o New guidance will allow financing for coal and other fossil energy projects, which will increase access to affordable, reliable, and clean energy around the world.
o The Administration streamlined Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal permitting, including the Lake Charles LNG terminal.
o Under the Trump Administration, our allies have received, and will continue to receive, American LNG exports, which will prevent dependence on single suppliers.
· President Trump has unleashed oil and gas development by expanding access to resources and the infrastructure needed to get them to market.
o The Trump Administration has approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, which will create an estimated 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic benefits.
o The Administration has expedited new pipeline approval and production, including the New Burgos Pipeline, which will export U.S. gasoline to Mexico.
o The Department of the Interior is boosting responsible oil and gas development on Federal lands.
· President Trump directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rescind the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).
o According to NERA Economic Consulting, the CPP would have increased electricity rates by as much as 14 percent, costing American households up to $79 billion.
· The EPA is reconsidering an onerous Obama-era rule on methane emissions that would cost American energy developers an estimated $530 million annually.
PROTECTING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND THE HOMELAND: President Trump is enforcing our immigration laws, protecting American communities and American jobs.
· President Trump has laid out his principles for reforming our immigration system to serve hard-working Americans instead of harming them. In particular, President Trump has called on Congress to fund a wall along the Southern border, close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, end Chain Migration, and eliminate the Visa Lottery program.
· President Trump pulled the United States out of negotiations for a “Global Compact on Migration,” a plan for global governance of immigration and refugee policy that would have had far-reaching implications for U.S. sovereignty.
· Under President Trump’s leadership, the Department of Homeland Security took action to wind down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in an orderly fashion, following the assessment of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that DACA lacks legal authorization.
o This action gives Congress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions, as required by our Constitution.
· President Trump’s Administration rescinded the unlawful Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program.
· In keeping with President Trump’s campaign promise, the Department of Homeland Security launched the office of Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE).
· From President Trump’s inauguration through the end of FY 2017, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) made 110,568 arrests of illegal aliens, a 40 percent increase compared to the same time period the prior year.
o Over the same time period, removals that resulted from arrests increased by 37 percent.
o Of the illegal aliens arrested by ICE, over 92 percent had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, were ICE fugitives, or were illegal reentrants.
· The number of counties participating in the 287(g) program, which gives state and local law enforcement entities delegated authority by ICE to enforce immigration in their jurisdiction, has doubled.
· In FY 2017, 36 percent more criminal gang members were removed by ICE compared to FY 2016.
· President Trump’s Administration is cracking down on sanctuary cities by improving the administration of Federal grants to increase information sharing on illegal aliens.
PROTECTING AMERICA’S COMMUNITIES: President Trump is protecting American communities and restoring law and order so that every American can feel safe in their community.
· The Department of Justice announced more than $98 million in grant funding to hire 802 additional full-time law enforcement officers.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order to restore state and local law enforcement’s access to surplus Defense Department equipment through the 1033 program, including safety equipment.
· The DOJ has worked with Central American partners to arrest and charge about 4,000 MS-13 members so far this year.
o This includes the alleged leader of MS-13’s “East Coast Program.”
· The Department of Homeland Security arrested 796 MS-13 gang members and associates in FY 2017, an 83 percent increase from the previous year.
· In February, President Trump signed three Executive Orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
· In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of the new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.
MAKING GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABLE: President Trump is following through on his promise to drain the Washington swamp and make the Government accountable.
· President Trump fulfilled his promise to the American people by placing Neil Gorsuch on the United States Supreme Court.
o As of December 14, President Trump has nominated 73 Federal judges.
o Twenty-two judges have been confirmed, including a record-setting 12 circuit judges.
· President Trump implemented higher ethical standards to make sure his Administration works for the American people.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order on lobbying that included a five-year ban on lobbying and a lifetime ban on lobbying for foreign countries.
o President Trump has donated his salary, following through on his promise to the American people.
· To ensure the Government serves the needs of all Americans, President Trump has called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch and has begun to implement this plan.
· President Trump has commenced a comprehensive overhaul of digitally delivered Government services.
· President Trump has called for “conducting a full audit of the Pentagon.” The Department of Defense (DOD) responded to the President’s call to action and has begun its first full financial statement audit.
o Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has called for business reform in the DOD to instill budget discipline and effective resource management.
COMBATTING OPIOIDS: President Trump and his Administration are fighting back against drug addiction and opioid abuse.
· President Trump directed the declaration of a Nationwide Public Health Emergency to address the opioid crisis.
· The President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) recently found that evidence suggests drug overdoses involving opioids are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
· In April, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) laid out a comprehensive five-point strategy to combat the opioid abuse crisis.
· The DOJ announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
o Anyone who possesses, imports, distributes, or manufactures any illicit fentanyl-related substance will be subject to criminal prosecution similar to other controlled substances.
o The DOJ announced its first-ever indictments against two Chinese nationals and their North American-based associates for distributing large quantities of fentanyl and other opiate substances.
· In an opioid fraud crackdown, the DOJ charged more than 400 people, including doctors and medical facilities, for prescribing unnecessary opioids, fueling the drug crisis.
· In 2017, the Administration provided nearly $500 million to States to prevent and treat opioid abuse. The President’s FY 2018 Budget requests another $500 million.
· On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Administration collected a record-breaking 912,305 pounds – 456 tons – of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs at more than 5,300 collection sites.
PROTECTING LIFE: President Trump recognizes the precious gift of life and protects the sanctity of life at all stages.
· During his first week in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that protects $9 billion in foreign aid from being used to fund the abortion industry.
o President Trump de-funded a U.N. agency for colluding with China’s brutal program of forced abortion and sterilization.
· President Trump worked with the Congress to sign a bill overturning an Obama midnight regulation that prohibited States from defunding abortion service providers.
· The Trump Administration published guidance promising to enforce the Obamacare requirement that taxpayer dollars should not support abortion coverage in exchange plans.
SERVING OUR COUNTRY’S VETERANS: President Trump is making sure the government fulfills its commitment to our country’s veterans.
· The President signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
o Under President Trump, the VA has fired 1,298 employees, suspended 425, and demoted 73, as part of President Trump’s efforts to restore accountability.
· President Trump signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act after it passed the Senate unanimously in August.
o The legislation streamlines the lengthy process that veterans undergo when appealing disability benefits claims with the VA.
· The President signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, an important step in providing our nation’s heroes the support they have earned.
o This funds the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which provides educational benefits to veterans, service members, and their family members, including tuition, fees, books, housing, and additional costs.
· President Trump signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program (VCP).
· Fulfilling President Trump’s promise, the Administration created a new White House VA Hotline staffed by veterans and family members.
· The VA increased transparency and accountability by launching an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
· President Trump and VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology:
o “Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care” allows VA providers to use telehealth technology to serve veterans no matter where the provider or veteran is located.
o VA Video Connect allows veterans and providers to connect by video across the country.
o The Veteran Appointment Request (VAR) application allows veterans to schedule appointments at VA facilities on digital devices.
PROMOTING PEACE THROUGH STRENGTH: President Trump is rebuilding our military, defeating terrorist organizations, and confronting rogue nations to protect America and our allies.
· Immediately upon taking office, the President directed the rebuilding of the United States military, a new national defense strategy, a comprehensive nuclear posture review, and fielding state-of-the-art ballistic missile defenses.
· President Trump has worked with the Congress to increase defense spending, fully reverse the defense sequester, expand our military capacity, and modernize its capabilities.
· The President has empowered the Secretary of Defense and our military commanders to make decisions, seize the initiative, and win – without micromanagement from Washington.
· The President directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop and implement a new national space policy and strategy.
· President Trump directed the elevation of the U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command, to advance U.S. efforts in cyberspace.
· President Trump reasserted American sovereignty over our borders by announcing our withdrawal from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration.
· President Trump restricted travel from certain countries that do not have sufficient security or share enough information.
· Under President Trump’s leadership, ISIS has lost nearly all of its territory and its most important cities and towns in Iraq and Syria, including Mosul and ISIS’s declared capital in Raqqa.
· President Trump has taken strong action to end North Korea’s aggressive actions and its continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
o With U.S. leadership, the United Nations Security Council unanimously sanctioned North Korea for its continued rogue actions.
o The Trump Administration sanctioned Chinese financial institutions aiding the North Korean regime.
o President Trump signed an Executive Order sanctioning North Korean trade and financing, signaling to the world that they have to make a choice: deal with the United States or the rogue regime in North Korea.
· President Trump announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens our support for Afghan security forces, delegates authority to military leaders, and demonstrates our resolve to defeat terrorism.
· In reaction to the new U.S. South Asia strategy, NATO allies and partners increased troop contributions to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
· President Trump approved a new Iran strategy focused on neutralizing Iran’s regional destabilizing influence, sanctioning Iran’s ballistic missile program, and decertifying Iran’s compliance with the multilateral nuclear deal.
· President Trump ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase after the Assad regime used it to launch chemical weapons attacks against civilians.
· President Trump prevented further chemical weapons attacks by announcing detection of their preparation and warning Syria that they would be struck again if the attacks were carried out.
· President Trump imposed new sanctions on the Maduro dictatorship in Venezuela, targeting the regime itself, and not just individuals, for the first time.
o The new financial sanctions prohibit dealings in new Venezuelan debt and its corrupt oil company. The regime will no longer be able finance its debt using U.S. banks.
RESTORING CONFIDENCE IN AND RESPECT FOR AMERICA: President Trump has used an America First foreign policy to restore respect for the United States throughout the world and to advance our interests.
· President Trump has worked to release American citizens held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
o Three student athletes from the University of California, Los Angeles, were released from China after President Trump’s personal intervention.
o An American, a Canadian, and their three children were released from Taliban custody after United States Government and Pakistani forces secured their release.
o The Trump Administration secured Otto Warmbier’s release from North Korea.
o Sandy Phan-Gill was released from Chinese detention after President Trump and his Administration intervened.
o Aya Hijazi was released from an Egyptian prison and welcomed to the White House by President Trump.
· President Trump followed through on his campaign promise and recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.
· President Trump conducted a historic 12 day tour through Asia including visits to five countries and attending three regional summits to promote America’s interests.
o South Korea and Japan both pledged to build closer defense relations with the United States, and the President underscored the U.S. commitment to providing advanced military equipment.
o President Trump boosted cooperation between the Quad countries (the United States, Japan, India, and Australia) on the sidelines of ASEAN in Manila.
o President Trump reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to promote prosperity and security in the region, including by modernizing America’s development finance institutions and increasing their coordination with Japanese counterparts.
· President Trump travelled to the Middle East and Europe to solidify relations with our allies in both regions and push for greater commitments and cooperation.
o President Trump visited Mecca, Jerusalem, and Rome, three of the world’s holiest places.
o While in Saudi Arabia, President Trump pushed for a coalition of nations to confront Iran and attended the opening of the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology.
o At the May 2017 NATO Leaders’ meeting, President Trump persuaded our allies to agree to develop national plans to boost defense spending to 2 percent of GDP by 2024, and for NATO to formally join the defeat-ISIS coalition.
· President Trump visited Poland and a meeting of the G-20, where he pushed for closer cooperation and American First policies.
o With G-20 partners and the World Bank, the United States championed the establishment of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (WeFi), which could leverage in excess of $1 billion in financing to support women entrepreneurs.