Trump gets down to business, prepares to sign order withdrawing US from trade deal
President Trump is set to kick off his first full ‘work day’ in the White House by signing an executive order withdrawing the United States from a controversial Pacific-nation trade deal. Trump is expected to sign an order taking the U.S. out of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement, which he railed against during the campaign and which Hillary Clinton previously supported before distancing herself from the deal.
The executive order, and possibly others, are being signed after a weekend of introductory meetings and perfunctory duties marking the transfer of power.
Trump has said he considers Monday his first real day in the office.
Bracketing the order-signing on Monday are a host of meetings at the White House, including a listening session with business leaders, another one with union leaders and later a reception with congressional leaders from both parties.
He’ll also hold his first meeting as president with the speaker of the House, Paul Ryan.
“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.”
Trump said he would impose a “substantial border tax” on companies that move their manufacturing out of the United States, while promising unspecified advantages to companies that manufacture domestically.
“All you have to do is stay,” he said during a morning meeting in the White House’s Roosevelt Room.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin were among the executives who attended the meeting.
Trump delivered a more unifying message Sunday and sought to reassure Americans he was up to the daunting task ahead.
Speaking in the White House East Room during a swearing-in ceremony for top aides, the president warned his staff of the challenges ahead, but declared he believed they were ready.
“This is not about party, this is not about ideology. This is about country, our country. It’s about serving the American people,” he said.
Trump also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who accepted an invitation to visit the White House in early February. The prime minister said he is hoping to forge a “common vision” with the newly inaugurated U.S. president that could include expanded settlement construction and a tougher policy toward Iran.
Trump also announced that he’s set up meetings with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
“We’re going to start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA,” he said of his meeting with Pena Nieto. Mexico is part of the free trade agreement with the U.S. and Canada. Trump said he also will discuss immigration and security at the border. He has promised to build a wall along the length of the southern border and insisted that Mexico will pay for it.
His chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said on “Fox News Sunday” the president would spend his first full week in office undoing some of Obama’s agenda and planned to sign executive orders on immigration and trade.