From a meager 76 to a generous 282, depending on who’s counting, Pres. Trump has made these campaign promises, ostensibly to boost his chances of winning. Again, depending on which side of the fence the reader is sitting on, his promises may be viewed as threats.
These are 10 of the ones he has kept, but for reasons not of his own doing, some of them didn’t push through. In order of “delivered” and “in progress” here they are:
1. Withdraw from the Paris climate agreement
Trump’s tweet on November 6, 2012 reads “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” So it’s no surprise that he promised to withdraw from the Paris Agreement if elected president. On June 1, 2017, he did just that. Trump reasons that the climate change accord is financially disadvantageous to the country, much to the consternation of his countrymen and the rest of the world.
2. Pull out of the Trans Pacific Partnership
Following up on a campaign promise to pull out of the Trans Pacific partnership, Trump signed an executive order to that effect three days after his inauguration on January 20. He describes the TPP as a “potential disaster for our country” because it harms America’s manufacturing. The trade deal with 11 other countries was negotiated by former president Obama in line with his “pivot to Asia” policy. The US retreat clears the way for China to invite the rest of the members to its own multilateral trade deals. However, Trump’s TPP withdrawal is simply symbolic as it had yet not been ratified by a divided Congress.
Seven months later, Japan signed a bilateral trade agreement with the EU. Together with Australia and New Zealand, Japan hopes to push through with a TPP 11 minus 1
3. Fill the vacancy in the Supreme Court with a conservative justice
Twelve days after his inauguration, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. A vacancy occurred with the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016. The Senate, dominated by Republicans, blocked then Pres. Obama from nominating Merrick Garland, leaving the vacancy open until Trump succeeded Obama.
On April 7, 2017, the Senate confirmed Gorsuch, 54-45, to the Supreme Court. Justice Gorsuch is known for his conservative stance, as demonstrated in his vote on the frozen truck driver case.
4. Impose five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials on lobbying the government after they leave.
A few weeks before the November 2016 elections, Trump promised the ban as a means to curb corruption and influence peddling by lobbyists in Washington. Barely two weeks after he was sworn in, Trump signed an executive order on the ban.
5. Impose a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying for a foreign government after their employment ends.
At first glance, the five-year ban looks better than Obama’s similar two-year ban. But the devil is in the details, as they say. The legalese of the executive order needs to be looked into for possible loopholes.
6. Bomb the IS
“Bomb the shit out of ISIS” were the words Trump used in a November 2015 campaign in Iowa. On April 13, 2017, a non-nuclear bomb was dropped on a tunnels and caves complex in eastern Afghanistan, killing around 90 IS militants, according to a BBC report.
7. Remove all undocumented immigrants
A significant campaign promise of Trump is to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants. As election neared, he lessened the number to 2-3 million, singling out immigrants with criminal records. Departing from the previous administration’s policy, Trump includes minor crimes such as traffic violations and shoplifting as grounds for deportation.
This promise has been kept. Since Trump took office on January 20, 2017 until the end of April, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has 41,318 persons on civil immigration charges. This figure is an increase of 37.6 percent over the same period in 2016.
8. Repeal and Replace Obamacare
One of the trademark campaign promises of Trump is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) attributed to then Pres. Obama. Obamacare aimed to extend coverage to the uninsured.
On his first day in office, Trump signed an executive order to start the demolition of the act but minus the specifics. But an EO cannot repeal a law. The House Republicans made several attempts to pass the bill to repeal ACA and replace it with their own version. When it finally passed Congress and was sent to the Senate for deliberation, the Senate wanted to write their own bill.
Finally, on July 27, 2017, the “skinny repeal” was voted on by the Senate. It lost again. Three Republican senators crossed party lines and voted against it. Obama’s ACA is still in effect, but until when is anybody’s guess.
Trump kept his promise and failed to deliver, but not for lack of trying.
9. Build a wall along the US-Mexico border
When Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, he promised to build a wall on the south border and make Mexico pay for it. At that time, it sounded absurd. But Trump is serious and in a rally in Phoenix, Az in August, he brought up the wall again, even threatening a government shutdown if the Democrats try to block his plan. Trump wants Mexico to pay for the wall but has a Plan B for funding if Mexico is steadfast in its refusal. It is included in a funding bill that Congress has recently passed.
10. Perform extreme vetting on immigrants from seven countries
In an August 2016 speech in Ohio, Trump promised “extreme vetting” to prevent Islamic extremism from getting into the country. In his first week as US president, he signed an executive order denying refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries entry to the US. These countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
An updated version in March removed Iraq from the list. The barred persons from the six countries were also specifically defined. The immediate implementation of the first executive order caused chaos at the airports.