Monday, January 23, 2017

Trump Slays the TTP And Restrains Executive Branch Hiring

President Trump has only been in office for three days and he has already destroyed a major hallmark of Obama's failed legacy. The U.S. entered into trade negotiations with a handful of Pacific rim countries during the tail end of the Bush Admin, but Obama pursued the Trans Pacific Partnership for nearly the entirety of his two terms, starting only a few months after he was sworn into office. Now, those eight years of toil have been obliterated in a single day. President Trump released a memorandum formally withdrawing US as a signatory to the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. The trade deal was initially negotiated in secret by the most opaque administration in recent U.S. history. The only public information about this national sovereignty killing trade deal came from that bastion of Russian propaganda otherwise known as Wikileaks. I myself did not become aware of the TTP negotiations until October 2015 when I was still on Experience Project, and haven't done much research into it since February 2016, though I have talked about it in two previous posts here and here. President Trump plans to only negotiate bilateral trade deals, that is, deals made with individual countries instead of trade blocs.

President Trump also instated a hiring moratorium for Executive branch positions, in a separate memorandum, with the exception of military personnel, any positions necessary to maintain national security, or officials appointed by the president. Included in the memorandum is an order for the Office of Budget and Management to come up with a plan to reduce the size of the federal workforce and a ban on using outside contractors to circumvent the hiring moratorium. While this reduction in federal spending is relatively minor, it is nonetheless a step in the right direction that will hopefully gain momentum during the Trump administration.

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