Donald Trump’s Day 1 To-Do List

On the morning of Jan. 21, 2017, his first full day in office, President Donald J. Trump will take a minute to settle behind the 19th-century Resolute desk, first used in the Oval Office by John F. Kennedy.

Then he will get very busy — if he follows through on his campaign promises for what he will do on his first day in office.

On Day 1, Mr. Trump has promised, he will redirect immigration enforcement, alter trade relations with China and other nations, relax restrictions on energy production, impose new rules on lobbyists, halt efforts to combat global warming, lift curbs on guns, push for congressional term limits and demand a new strategy for defeating the Islamic State. He may face some legal and procedural hurdles, but most of his Day 1 pledges involve issuing presidential directives, executive orders or memorandums that do not need legislative approval.

Although Mr. Trump and his top advisers have appeared to moderate some of his broader campaign pledges — they have suggested he might keep parts of the Affordable Care Act, delay building a wall along the border with Mexico and not appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s emails — Mr. Trump has said nothing to indicate that he will not make good on his explicit Day 1 promises, many of which he delivered in his “Contract With the American Voter” during a speech in late October in Gettysburg, Pa.

Moving quickly is, after all, a modern presidential tradition. On his first day in office, President Obama imposed lobbying rules, closed secret interrogation facilities, banned torture and ordered the prison at Guantánamo Bay closed (an order that Congress has blocked to this day). Bowing to conservatives, on his first day, President George W. Bush ended funding of overseas clinics that provided abortion services.

Here is what Mr. Trump has said he will do:


Nowhere has Mr. Trump been more specific than in his desire to deal with immigration on his first day. During a campaign rally on Aug. 31 in Phoenix, he told the crowd that he would instruct his administration to begin deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records immediately.


An undocumented immigrant boarding an Immigration and Customs Enforcement jet in Mesa, Ariz., before being deported, Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

“We will begin moving them out, Day 1,” he said. “My first hour in office, those people are gone.”

In fact, immigration enforcement agents at the Department of Homeland Security are already under a mandate from Mr. Obama to deport criminals. The executive actions the president took in late 2014 order officials to focus on deporting “national security threats, convicted felons, gang members and illegal entrants apprehended at the border.”

But Mr. Trump does have wide latitude to direct an even more aggressive deportation effort, and he appears determined to do so quickly. He has said he will immediately end Mr. Obama’s program that protects undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as young children. But it is unclear whether Mr. Trump will seek to quickly deport the 700,000 or so people who signed up for the program, or merely refuse to accept new applicants.

He has said he also plans on Day 1 to suspend immigration from “terror-prone” countries, and to impose “extreme vetting” on others. And he has said he will immediately inform sanctuary cities — about two dozen American cities where officials have pledged not to prosecute people solely for being undocumented — that they will lose federal funding.

Economy and Trade

Much of Mr. Trump’s campaign was built on a promise to help struggling American workers who are frustrated by the loss of jobs, especially in the heartland.


A brokerage house in Shanghai day after the election, President-elect Trump promised to tell his Treasury secretary to label china a currency manipulator, Photo: Aly Song/Reuters

The president-elect has said he intends to take several actions to pursue those policies on his first day, including announcing his intention to renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and to stop pursuing adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Both actions are well within Mr. Trump’s powers as president.

He has promised to pick up the phone and order his Treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, and to tell his commerce secretary to begin identifying foreign trade abuses.

He has also said he will call chief executives of major companies who have announced plans to move jobs overseas to warn them that he will impose 35 percent tariffs if they proceed. That promise may be difficult to keep: Tariffs require congressional approval, and the Constitution bans the imposition of taxes or tariffs specifically aimed at a single company.

The Environment

The president-elect has taken direct aim at Mr. Obama’s actions on the environment and climate.


Gascoyne, N.D., where pipes for the planned Keystone XL pipeline were stored in 2014. President Obama rejected construction of the pipeline, but President-elect Trump has said he will approve it, Photo: Andrew Cullen/Reuters

Mr. Trump has said that on his first day in office, he will lift Obama-era rules that restrict where oil drilling and other energy production are done, although Mr. Trump may find it harder to change those plans than he thinks. In July, for example, Mr. Obama’s administration issued regulations making it harder to drill for oil in the Arctic by requiring extensive plans for containing spills. Undoing final regulations like the Arctic drilling rules would require a long legal process.

It may be easier to reconsider Mr. Obama’s ruling against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Mr. Trump has said he will indicate on his first day his desire to approve the pipeline. And he has promised to call United Nations officials the same day to inform them he is canceling United States’ financial commitments to United Nations climate change programs.

Other Day 1 Promises

At some point that day, Mr. Trump has said, he will convene a meeting of senior Pentagon officials to discuss the threat posed by the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. “I am also going to convene my top generals and give them a simple instruction: They will have 30 days to submit to the Oval Office a plan for defeating ISIS,” as the Islamic State is also known, Mr. Trump said in Greenville, N.C., during the campaign.

The president-elect has also promised to act to get rid of gun-free zones around schools and other facilities, a nod to Second Amendment supporters. “My first day, it gets signed, O.K.?” he said at a January rally. “My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”

But that may be a tough promise to keep. Gun-free zones are a result of a 1990 law proposed by Joseph R. Biden Jr., then a senator, and ending them would require legislation that Congress is unlikely to pass on Mr. Trump’s first day in office.

It will be easier to make good on his promises to attack corruption in Washington. He has said he will propose term limits for members of Congress, impose restrictions on the creation of new regulations, and limit the lobbying activities of White House and congressional officials after they leave office.

Click here for our Facebook page.

Photo:John Taggart/Bloomberg

Is the price of iPhone 8 going to change because of Donald Trump’s stance on China?

The iPhone isn’t cheap. Not even close. Apple’s phones have been setting the bar for high-end smartphone pricing for years, though. Apple has also been improving the iPhone without changing the price, which is a good thing.

Are you upset about the iPhone 7 Plus price hike despite the added benefits? If so, we have some bad news: Donald Trump may make the iPhone more expensive than ever if he moves forward with his trade plans for China.

China already threatened Trump’s America with an editorial in a state-run newspaper. The piece basically said that Trump’s comments related to US-China trade did not go unnoticed. And that China will respond to any of Trump’s future moves against China with actions that will hurt American businesses, including Apple’s iPhone.

Trump said during his campaign that he would impose a 45% tariff on China imports. Business Insider reports that Barclays researchers expressed in a note that a Trump administration would likely settle on a 15% tariff on imports from China. That would mean the government would take 15% of the imported goods’ value in taxes.

Such a tariff would force Apple to raise prices for the iPhone as well, making it a more expensive purchase for the American buyer.

“In general, if tariffs go up by 15%, we tend to find that prices go up, but not usually entirely by 15%,” Columbia economics professor Amit Khandelwal said. “But it’s reasonable to expect that prices would go up a sufficient amount.”

“Tariffs are imposed on wholesale price, so if I’ve got my $1,000 computer in front of me, it came in to the airport wholesaler valued at probably $500 or less,” Stern economics professor Paul Wachtel said.

Business Insider says the iPhone’s price could go up as much as $97 per phone, but $50 would be a more reasonable hike. Apple could always choose to pay the fee out of its own pocket, but that’s unlikely. The same tariff would apply to other electronics including smartphones from other brands, not just the iPhone.

“Whether an iPhone is going to go up in price $10 or something is a small issue,” Wachtel said. “If President Trump starts putting tariffs on electronic goods, does that begin to wreak havoc on the global electronics industry? Now you’re talking a real issue.”

That said, the iPhone 8 will be the first Apple smartphone released under Trump, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Trump’s approach towards trade with China will have am impact on next year’s iPhone pricing.

Click here for our Facebook page.

Photo:AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Ex-Nato leaders call for unexpected meeting with Donald Trump

Two former Nato chiefs have called for an extraordinary summit soon after Donald Trump’s inauguration to reassure traditional allies that the US will still come to their defence.

Former Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and his predecessor Jaap de Hoop Scheffer also warned the US president-elect against making a hasty deal with Vladimir Putin that would cede Crimea and eastern Ukraine as a Russian sphere of influence.

They argue it would set a precedent for further expansionism in Russia’s “near-abroad”.

“If we accept the annexation of Crimea we will have given up on the rule-based order and it would have consequences elsewhere in the world,” Rasmussen told reporters in a call organised by the Atlantic Council thinktank.

During the election campaign, Trump said the people of Crimea appeared to want to live under Russian rule and said he would look at whether the US would recognise Moscow’s 2014 annexation of the peninsular. He also told the New York Times that allies would have to reimburse Washington for their protection or be told: “Congratulations, you will be defending yourself.”

Scheffer raised fears that Trump would turn campaign rhetoric into administration policy in a grand bargain with Putin, ceding Crimea and eastern Ukraine to Moscow, in return for non-interference in the Baltic states.

“In accepting the annexation of Crimea, it would be the first time since the second world war that borders have been changed by sheer force,” Scheffer said. “Such a deal would be considered by Russia and President Putin as a political alibi to expand his sphere of influence in what he qualifies as his ‘near abroad’. I think it would set a very bad precedent and might create in the Kremlin the wrong impression that if you wait long enough, Nato and the European Union and the Americans are finally giving in.”

On his farewell tour of Europe, Barack Obama has offered reassurance to nervous allies that Trump is committed to Nato despite disparaging remarks about the pact.

President Obama, who is meeting foreign allies in Berlin on Thursday, said “one of the most important functions I can serve at this stage, during this trip, is to let them know that there is no weakening of resolve when it comes to America’s commitment to maintaining a strong and robust Nato relationship, and a recognition that those alliances aren’t just good for Europe, they’re good for the United States, and they’re vital for the world.”

However, the former Nato chiefs said that such reassurances would be more effective if they came from Trump himself.

“I think it’s important to organise a Nato summit very soon after Mr Trump’s inauguration as the new American president,” Rasmussen said. He added that at such a summit the new president would reaffirm US commitment to defend all Nato allies, and those allies would promise to do more to honour existing pledges to spend 2% of their national income on defence. The alliance should also commit itself once more to supporting Ukraine independence and sovereignty.

Scheffer said Trump appeared from his campaign to be a man “who does not like alliances”, adding that he should act fast to reverse that impression.

“It is very important to come out for Nato as strongly as possible in the form of a summit,” Scheffer said, though both he and Rasmussen said such a meeting should be left until Trump appointees for top cabinet posts had been confirmed by the Senate.

A lack of clarity, Rasmussen said, “could lead to miscalculation by potential aggressors”.

“I’m concerned that President Putin might be emboldened already,” he added.

Click here for our Facebook page.

Photo: AP

No more iPhone? Trump starting a trade war against China?

In an interview with Bloomberg Television Friday, when questioned as to whether US President-elect Donald Trump will formally declare China a currency manipulator, Judy Shelton, one of Trump’s economic advisers, said “he is someone going to carry through on what he says.”

After the election, Trump began to soften his tone on a string of issues he campaigned on, for example, he hailed the alliances with Japan and South Korea, with no mention of asking the two countries to pay more to support US stationed troops there. But at this moment Shelton claimed Trump would follow through with his pledge to declare China a currency manipulator. What does this mean? Trump is not obstinate with regard to ties with China. Making things difficult for China politically will do him no good. Almost all experts on US-China trade believe that Trump’s declaration on the bilateral economy is unprofessional. The yuan’s inclusion in the SDR basket has attested to the marketization of China’s exchange rate. Trump’s accusations against China for currency manipulation cannot hold water. If he does list China as a currency manipulator and slap steep tariffs on Chinese imports, China will take countermeasures.

Declaring China a “currency manipulator” will increase the pressure on appreciation of the yuan. It runs counter to the trend of shorting the yuan in the international financial market. However, China’s reputation will be affected, and the trade atmosphere between China and the US will become more tense.

To impose a 45 percent tariff on imports from China is merely campaign rhetoric. The greatest authority a US president has is to impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days on all imported goods and the limit can only be broken on the condition that the country is declared to be in a state of emergency. Other than that, a US president can only demand a tariff increase on individual commodities.

Not long after Barack Obama took office, US trade and commerce authorities announced a 35 percent import tariff on Chinese tires. In response, China took retaliatory steps of imposing tariffs on US chicken and automotive products. Both China and the US suffered losses as a result. From then on, the Obama administration waged no trade war against China. If Trump imposes a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports, China-US trade will be paralyzed.

China will take a tit-for-tat approach then. A batch of Boeing orders will be replaced by Airbus. US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports will be halted. China can also limit the number of Chinese students studying in the US.

Trump as a shrewd businessman will not be so naive. None of the previous presidents were bold enough to launch an all-out trade war against China. They all opted for a cautious line since it’s most consistent with the overall interests of the US, and it’s most acceptable to US society.

Trump cannot change the pattern of interests between China and the US. The gigantic China-US trade is based on mutual benefits and a win-win situation. Even as president, Trump can exert limited influence on it.

If Trump wrecks Sino-US trade, a number of US industries will be impaired. Finally the new president will be condemned for his recklessness, ignorance and incompetence and bear all the consequences. We are very suspicious the trade war scenario is a trap set up by some American media to trip up the new president.

Click here for our Facebook page.