President Trump isn’t wasting any time proving that, “America first” wasn’t just a campaign slogan… 

Newly installed President Donald Trump has moved swiftly to turn his fiercely nationalist “America first” inaugural speech into action, stoking unease abroad over the new direction the United States is headed under his leadership.

TPP

On Day One of his presidency, the White House moved to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. The Obama administration’s signature domestic programme, the Affordable Care Act, also fell victim to Mr Trump’s move to unpick his predecessor’s policies.

In his fiery inauguration address on Friday, Mr Trump painted a bleak picture of America today – one exploited by foreign countries, burdened with lopsided alliances and failing to defend its borders.

“For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidised the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military,” he said, blasting past policies.

“One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind.”

What’s left behind, he said, is a dystopia of blighted inner cities and rusted-out factories “scattered like tombstones” across the land.

“This American carnage stops right here and stops right now,” Mr Trump declared.

“From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first… Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

Mr Trump, revisiting the election campaign themes that resonated strongly with what he called the “forgotten” voters of Middle America, made clear that under his administration, the US will be hard-nosed in protecting its own interests.

“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs,” he said.

Mr Trump’s signaling of a dramatic shift in policy has set off ripples of concern in world capitals, even as congratulations and offers to improve ties flooded in. –Straights Times


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