The leader of the free world delivered his State of the Union address to Congress yesterday in which he touched upon a range of foreign and domestic issues without providing many details on policy. The 82-minute speech called for bipartisanship, on his terms of course. Here are some of the highlights.
Federal Investigations – ‘An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations’.
The wall, immigration and the government shutdown – ‘Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland and secure our very dangerous southern border’ adding ‘My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border. It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry’. Border security was his favoured topic, allocating more time than any other in his address.
Healthcare costs – ‘The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions’. Trump also made two new policy proposals, calling for the eradication of HIV/AIDS and USD500m in childhood cancer research funding over the next 10 years.
Infrastructure – ‘Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America's crumbling infrastructure, this is not an option. This is a necessity’.
Foreign Policy – Here he touched on a number of themes, from Russia and Venezuela (he followed his comments on Venezuela by vowing that the US ‘would never be a socialist country’) to NATO, North Korea, Afghanistan and China. Iran was singled out, with Trump continuing to be very critical of the international agreement that limited Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. He said ‘My administration has acted decisively to confront the world's leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran," Trump said in his address. "It is a radical regime. They do bad, bad things’. On China, he stated ‘We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end’.
Trump also highlighted his economic achievements during his address, although according to Bloomberg, the figures don’t match up. However, I don’t think anyone will be overly shocked by that revelation.