Seven Donald Trump policies that could change the US and the world

Republican president-elect has made bold statements on tax, immigration and healthcare

American students protest outside the UN climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Wednesday, in reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. Photograph: Fadel Senna/ AFP/Getty Images

American students protest outside the UN climate talks in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Wednesday, in reaction to Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. Photograph: Fadel Senna/ AFP/Getty Images

 

Donald Trump’s stunning victory in Tuesday’s US presidential election sets the stage for a series of radical policy reversals both at home and abroad.

A Trump presidency could scupper some of Barack Obama’s signature achievements, including Obamacare, climate change policy and the nuclear deal with Iran. Democratic hopes of shaping the Supreme Court for a generation would be dashed; a markedly more conservative court is now likely. Foreign policy could also undergo a dramatic shift.

Many analysts caution that there is a big difference between campaign promises and official policy – trade renegotiations, for example, sometimes turn out to be less substantive than advertised. Commitments on foreign policy issues, such as moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, are sometimes set aside.

But here are seven ways in which life could change under president Donald Trump:

1 Trade

Mr Trump has opposed the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership deal and called for fundamental changes to the Nafta pact with Mexico and Canada. Such policies appear to have boosted his appeal throughout the rust belt of the American midwest, with huge consequences for the election’s ultimate outcome. He has also threatened to impose punitive 45 per cent tariffs on goods from China, stoking fears of a trade war.

2 Foreign policy

Mr Trump has said that Mr Obama’s deal with Iran, which seeks to prevent the Islamic republic from developing nuclear weapons, would be dismantled or at least restructured. While Mr Obama began his term by setting out a vision of a world without nuclear weapons, Mr Trump has said he would be open to both Japan and South Korea developing nuclear arsenals. He has also questioned the US’s treaty commitments to Nato allies that do not pay their own way, while suggesting a much closer relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

3 Healthcare

Mr Trump has signed up to the Republican pledge that Mr Obama’s signature Obamacare reforms must be “released and replaced”. He has not set out a comprehensive alternative, but says he will encourage competition between markets in different states.

4 Tax policy

Mr Trump has promised the biggest tax revolution since Ronald Reagan, pledging to cut taxes across the board. He says no American business would pay more than 15 per cent of its profits in tax, compared with a current maximum of 35 per cent. The top rate of tax would fall from 39.6 per cent as the Republican reduces the number of tax brackets.

5 Supreme Court

For many political activists in the US, this could be the biggest consequence of the election. With the highest court in the land currently split four-four between conservative and more liberal judges, Hillary Clinton’s supporters had hoped that a ninth justice chosen by a Democratic president would shift the balance, possibly for a generation. Instead, Mr Trump faces relatively easy confirmation of his pick by a Republican Senate and he may also have the opportunity to replace some of the relatively elderly complement of liberal judges.

6 Climate change

Mr Trump has called global warming a hoax invented by China to make US manufacturers uncompetitive. He has vowed to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, which built on a deal that Mr Obama struck with China. Mr Trump also says he would stop all US contributions to UN global-warming programmes.

7 Immigration

This is the issue that excited most passions in the campaign, both among Mr Trump’s supporters and among Hispanic voters eager to prevent him from taking the White House. Mrs Clinton and the departing Mr Obama had backed comprehensive reforms that would give illegal immigrants a chance of full citizenship. Mr Trump has campaigned on his pledge to build a wall on the Mexican border, and has called for a ban on Muslim immigration and the deportation of 11 million unauthorised immigrants. However, he has subsequently made more ambiguous statements, promising “extreme vetting” instead and declining to clarify his precise plans for undocumented immigrants.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2016

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