WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is hitting the ground running with a flurry of executive orders on his first full weekday in office, including a hiring freeze on all non-military federal government workers.
America employs 2.1 million civilian federal workers. That includes nearly 130,000 hired under President Obama, according to the Office of Management and Budget and the Labor Department.
Cutting the number of federal workers is listed as the second top priority in Trump’s 100-day action plan, his “Contract with the American Worker,” right behind proposing a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress.
Trump signed an order announcing the United States’ intention not to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, the trade agreement among 11 Pacific Rim countries strongly supported by former President Obama but not ratified by the Republican-controlled Congress.
The order withdraws the U.S. from the negotiating process.
“Great thing for the American worker, what we just did,” said the president.
Teamsters chief James Hoffa agreed and immediately praised the move, saying, “With this decision, the president has taken the first step toward fixing 30 years of bad trade policies that have cost working Americans millions of good-paying jobs.”
The president had already said on Sunday he planned to begin discussions soon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Nieto to begin renegotiating NAFTA in order to secure more favorable terms for the U.S.
Trump signed an order to reinstate what’s called the Mexico City policy, cutting off foreign aid and federal funds for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or promote abortions. It also blocks federal funding for organizations that portray abortion as a form of family planning.
The policy was instituted by President Reagan in 1984 but dropped by President Obama in 2009.
The change will hurt funding for such abortion providers as International Planned Parenthood Federation, which operates in more than 180 countries. The pro-life website LifeNews estimated it will stop $400 million in federal funds going to such international abortion providers.
The president also placed a five-year ban on taking a lobbying job for anyone who leaves the administration.
He is also expected to issue executive orders undoing Obama’s orders on illegal immigration.
Trump is hosting a series of meetings at the White House, including one with business leaders and another one with union leaders.
Busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security,” Trump tweeted early Monday. “Top executives coming in at 9:00 A.M. to talk manufacturing in America.”
During the meeting with business leaders, Trump said he would impose a “substantial border tax” on companies that build factories outside the United States, and promised benefits to companies that stay in the U.S.
“What we want to do is bring manufacturing back to our country,” said the president. “That doesn’t mean we don’t trade because we do trade. We want to make our products here.”
“All you have to do is stay,” he said during a morning meeting with top CEOs. He asked them to come back to him in 30 days with ideas to keep more manufacturing in America.
The head of Ford Motor Co. called it “a very, very positive meeting.”
He also vowed to lower the business tax rate “down to anywhere from 15 to 20 percent” from the current 35 percent.
Trump also reiterated his intention to “massively” cut taxes for the middle class.