In a two-and-a-half minute video released late Monday night, President-elect Donald Trump spoke directly to the camera and gave the country an update on the transition process and his policy plans for the first 100 days in office.
“My agenda will be based on a simple core principle, whether it’s producing steel, building cars or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here, in our great homeland: America — creating wealth and jobs for American workers,” he said.
Trump has asked his transition team to develop a list of executive actions he can take on day one to restore the country’s laws and “bring back” American jobs.
The video comes days after the performance of a Saturday Night Live skit that suggested Trump was clueless about his next steps. Although it seems unlikely that a comedy show may have had such an impact, the skit led to a Twitter feud between the president-elect and actor Alec Baldwin and may have reminded the Trump camp how important it is for him to provide some clarity on his policies. This is especially true since Donald Trump lost the popular vote, his claims were not always taken seriously and many have still yet to be convinced of his capabilities. Investors have also been speculating about which of his campaign promises will come to fruition next year.
Trump also commented on the transition process. His administration picks have received withering criticism in the media and reports of infighting emerged. He said the team is “working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively” and called his team members “great and talented men and women” and “patriots” who will help make America great again.
A year after President Obama notified Congress of his intent to enter the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, Trump has said he will issue a notification of intent to withdraw from it. He plans to negotiate new fair and bilateral trade deals.
Obama had said TPP would generate opportunities for U.S. manufacturers and create jobs. However, TPP was attacked during the election cycle by Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders, forcing even Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton to rethink her original position on it.
China, who was left out of the TPP agreement, has seen this an opportunity to solidify its trade relations with countries like Australia and India through an Asia-Pacific trade pact of its own. At the recent APEC summit in Peru, China positioned itself as the large economy most likely to lead on free trade initiatives.
Trump says he plans to cancel “job-killing” restrictions on the production of energy, including shale energy and clean coal, to create millions of jobs.
While coal stocks like Freeport-McMoRan Inc (FCX) have risen since Election Day, experts have argued that Trump can only marginally help the coal industry. Coal has been rapidly losing market share to cheap natural gas and alternative sources of energy. Pollution concerns have reduced the demand for coal abroad and jobs have also been lost to automation.
“For every one new regulation, two old regulations will be eliminated,” said Trump. He has argued that unnecessary regulations have stifled job creation and the economy.
What are these regulations? No one has a comprehensive list and the transition website doesn’t go into many specifics, but we know of a few likely targets. In May, he told Reuters he planned to dismantle Dodd-Frank. During a speech in September, he said he plans to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. Rule and EPA’s Clean Power Plan. There is a possibility he could turn his attention to the fiduciary rule as well.
Trump will work with the Department of Defense and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to protect America’s infrastructure from cyber-attacks. There was no mention of a plan to tackle ISIS, ramping up investments in defense infrastructure or additional vetting of Muslim immigrants.
It’s safe to say building a wall along the Mexican border is not top priority. Trump says he will ask the Department of Labor to investigate visa abuses that harm the American workers. This could point to a reassessment of the H-1B visa program that allows foreign temporary workers to be employed at firms in America. Silicon Valley companies like Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT) depend heavily on such employees, and Trump has criticized the program in the past.
Trump plans to “drain the swamp” by imposing a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government. After the transition team came under fire for including lobbyists, The Wall Street Journal reported that vice president-elect Mike Pence decided to purge them from it.