President Trump signs three executive orders
President Donald Trump signed three executive orders on Monday, including a hiring freeze for some federal government employees, a memorandum to leave the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, and a ban on funding overseas groups that perform or promote abortions.
The hiring freeze was signed as a way to reduce payrolls and rein in the size of the federal workforce.
Trump's directive is fulfilling one of his campaign promises. He told reporters that members of the military will be exempted from the hiring freeze.
The new president has vowed to take on the federal bureaucracy and the action could be the first step in an attempt to curtail government employment.
The memorandum signed by Trump's is similar to one that President George W. Bush signed at the start of his administration in 2001.
The memorandum to leave the proposed Pacific Rim trade pact known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership is basically a formality, since the agreement had yet to receive required Senate ratification. Trade experts say that approval was unlikely to happen given voters' anxiety about trade deals and the potential for job losses.
Trump called the move "a great thing for the American workers"
It remains unclear if Trump would seek individual deals with the 11 other nations in TPP- a group that represents roughly 13.5 percent of the global economy, according to World Bank figures.
Trump has blamed past trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and China's entrance into the World Trade Organization for a decline in U.S. factory jobs.
President Trump also reinstated a ban on providing federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option.
The regulation has been something of a political football, instituted by Republican administrations and rescinded by Democratic ones since 1984.
Most recently, President Barack Obama ended the ban in 2009.
Trump signed it one day after the Jan. 22 anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States, the date which is traditionally when presidents take action on the policy.
The policy also prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method.
In response to President Trump's order for withdrawal from the TPP, the Nebraska Farm Bureau released the following statement:
“We are certainly disappointed with President Trump’s decision to sign an executive order withdrawing the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Economic analysis conducted by the Nebraska Farm Bureau showed that virtually every county in Nebraska would have been positively impacted by the agreement with the state as a whole projected to see increased agricultural cash receipts by more than $378 million annually.“
“The TPP reflected a major opportunity for the farmers and ranchers who grow and raise Nebraska’s top commodities including beef, pork, corn, and soybeans. Over $150 million or nearly 40 percent of Nebraska’s projected increase in sales of agriculture products under TPP would have come from the sale of Nebraska beef into TPP countries. Nebraska pork producers would have also seen growth opportunities with Nebraska pork sales statewide expanding by more than $39 million annually. Finally, our corn and soybean farmers would have seen annual growth of over $76 million and $34 million respectively.”
“It is imperative that the Trump Administration now work on other ways to expand agricultural trade. While we continue to support all of our previous free trade agreements, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has quadrupled U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico, we stand ready to work with the new administration to help expand and develop new markets for Nebraska agricultural products.”