US elections: Donald Trump's to-do list as president

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Golden, Colorado, on Oct 29, 2016.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in Golden, Colorado, on Oct 29, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Mr Donald Trump, who will become the 45th President of the United States on Jan 20 after scoring a shock victory over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on Tuesday (Nov 8), has outlined an isolationist agenda and pledged to unravel many of outgoing President Barack Obama's policies, from trade liberalisation to the environment

Here's a look at the things he promised to do during his election campaign. Many of them would be prohibitively costly if not downright unfeasible or contradictory.

TRADE

- Renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and withdraw the US from the "job-killing" Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a controversial trade pact signed by 12 countries including Singapore;

- Impose punishing trade tariffs of up to 45 per cent if China doesn't change the "predatory" practices he sees;

- Impose a 35 per cent tax on any US company that wants to fire its workers and move to another country, and then bring its product back into the US.

IMMIGRATION

- Build a wall on the border with Mexico and make Mexico pay for it. Such a barrier could cost as much as US$13 billion (S$18.05 billion) and it is highly unlikely that Mexico would foot the bill;

- Immediately begin the process of deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records, and jail people who illegally re-enter the US. Such moves would effectively end Mr Obama's Illegal Immigration Act but at the cost of as much as US$166 billion, including the cost of erecting a wall, according to Politico;

 

-  Introduce “extreme vetting” of people looking to immigrate to or visit the United States, including a screening test to weed out those who do not “share our values and respect our people”.

Mr Trump also vowed a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country. The pledge, which drew widespread condemnation, has been removed from his website following his election triumph;

- Stop issuing visas to people coming from parts of the world where “adequate screening cannot occur”. He named Syria and Libya as two such places.

FOREIGN POLICY

- Review obligations to Nato. Mr Trump said he may not guarantee protection to fellow Nato countries who come under attack, and would help only if that country had fulfilled its "obligations" within the alliance; 

- Withdraw troops from Europe and Asia, including Japan and South Korea, if those allies fail to pay more for American protection;

- Strengthen the US military and deploy it in the East and South China Seas, where China has staked an increasing presence amid territorial spats with neighbouring Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. "These actions will discourage Chinese adventurism that imperils American interests in Asia and shows our strength as we begin renegotiating our trading relationship with China," said Mr Trump. "A strong military presence will be a clear signal to China and other nations in Asia and around the world that America is back in the global leadership business.”

- "Bomb the hell" out of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

ECONOMY & JOBS

- During his first 100 days, Mr Trump said he would work with Congress to introduce measures to grow the economy by 4 per cent per year and create at least 25 million new jobs. One of the measures he has floated is deep tax cuts, which would swell national debt;

- Boost infrastructure spending by up to US$1 trillion over 10 years through public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives.

ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY

- Lift restrictions on production of US$50 trillion worth of US energy reserves, including shale, oil, natural gas and clean coal. This includes the Keystone Pipeline, which cuts between Alberta, Canada and Nebraska in the United States and is feared to cause environmental damage;

- Cancel billions in payments to UN climate change programmes and use the money to "fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure”.

HEALTHCARE

Repeal the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare Act. Mr Obama's signature policy has brought health insurance to some 12.7 million people who would have struggled to afford medical cover but it has also pushed up insurance premiums for Americans not on government assistance.

Mr Trump said he would replace this with another system that would give more power to states over how to handle funds. But Republicans could be hard pressed to muster the 60 votes needed to win passage for a repeal effort through the 100-seat Senate.

POLITICAL REFORMS

- Amend the Constitution to limit the term of all members of Congress;

- Impose a hiring freeze on all federal employees as well limits on lobbyists, including a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for US elections.

PROSECUTE CLINTON

Appoint a special prosecutor to reopen the investigation into Mrs Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server while she was secretary of state and put her in jail, although his Democratic rival has been absolved by the FBI of wrongdoing.

This move now appears unlikely. Mr Trump paid tribute to Mrs Clinton in his victory on Wednesday (Nov 9) and all appeared to have been forgiven. "Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country," he said.