05:41 GMT +324 July 2019
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    President Donald Trump looks up after signing the final of three executive orders, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    America First: Trump Spends First Days in Office Undoing Obama's Legacy

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    During his first days in office, US President Donald Trump has been busy dismantling some of Barack Obama's signature initiatives, including the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something he had pledged to do if elected.

    The executive order aimed at minimizing "the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens" of Obamacare was the first executive order Trump signed after his inauguration. The document states that the current US administration remains committed to repealing the law, which is said to have expanded health insurance coverage to about 20 million Americans.

    Trump and Congressional Republicans have promised to replace the Affordable Care Act with a more efficient law, which will ostensibly bring down healthcare costs. They have not provided an alternative at this moment.

    On January 23, Trump took his aim at what was supposed to be Barack Obama's key achievement in international trade. He signed an executive order confirming that the United States will not seek further negotiations with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a controversial deal aimed at deepening economic ties among Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the US.

    Trump said that his team will "represent the American people and their financial well-being in all negotiations," trying to "create fair and economically beneficial trade deals that serve their interests."

    "In order to ensure these outcomes, it is the intention of my administration to deal directly with individual countries on a one-on-one (or bilateral) basis in negotiating future trade deals," he added, saying that trade with other nations will always be "of paramount importance" to him and his administration.

    On January 24, Trump signed two executive orders on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, paving the way to revive the projects shelved while Barack Obama was in office. The Keystone XL pipeline is designed to carry crude oil from the Canadian province of Alberta to the US refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Obama vetoed the project in February 2015.

    The Dakota Access pipeline is meant to transport light crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Last month, the US Army Corps of Engineers decided to halt the pipeline, citing environmental concerns as the reason.

    "At this time, the DAPL is more than 90 percent complete across its entire route. Only a limited portion remains to be constructed," Trump said. "I believe that construction and operation of lawfully permitted pipeline infrastructure serve the national interest."

    In addition, the US president signed an executive order urging companies carrying out these projects to "use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law."

    On January 25, Trump signed an executive order on border security and immigration, one of his key topics during the election campaign.

    The document orders "the immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border, monitored and supported by adequate personnel so as to prevent illegal immigration, drug and human trafficking, and acts of terrorism." It also direct US authorities "to deploy all lawful means to secure the nation's southern border, to prevent further illegal immigration into the United States, and to repatriate illegal aliens swiftly, consistently and humanely."

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    Tags:
    Trans Pacific Partnership, pipelines, Obamacare, executive order, policy, healthcare, border, immigration, Dakota Access Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, United States
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