President Trump's First 100 Days and Their Economic Impact

President Donald Trump formally signs his cabinet nominations into law, in the PresidentÕs Room of the Senate, at the Capitol in Washington, January 20, 2017.
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J. Scott Applewhite / Pool / Getty Images

Trump’s first 100 days started on Jan. 20, 2017, and ended on April 29, 2017. A president's first 100 days is a traditional barometer of success. Republican Donald Trump was the 45th president, but 100 days didn’t become a yardstick until Franklin Roosevelt. FDR popularized it to demonstrate his sweeping actions to fight the Great Depression. 

Here are the Trump administration's most significant economic actions in its first 100 days. You will see why Trump was not a typical Republican.

January 20: Trump signed an executive order to "ease the burden" of Obamacare. It directed federal agencies to do what they can within the existing law to lift the ACA's mandates. It was the first move to implement Trump's health care agenda.

The same day, he signed an order to remove a discount on Federal Housing Administration mortgages for low-income homebuyers. The FHA said it planned lower mortgage costs to offset higher interest rates.

January 23: Trump signed an order to withdraw from further negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He said he would replace it with a series of bilateral agreements.

The same day, Trump ordered a five-year ban on administration officials becoming lobbyists. Obama proposed this ban during his 2008 campaign but never fulfilled it. Trump also promised a lifetime ban for any executive lobbying on behalf of another country. 

As one of his final moves in office, Trump rescinded this five-year ban on former administration officials becoming lobbyists.

January 24: Trump signed an order allowing construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines. They'd ship high-grade Canadian crude oil to refineries in the Gulf region. Oil companies plan to ship that oil to Latin America. This reduction of domestic supply will raise U.S. oil and gas prices.

 January 25: Trump signed an order to build a physical wall along the entire U.S. border with Mexico. On the campaign trail, Trump said that Mexico would pay for the wall. However, Trump's order redirected current funds from other U.S. government operations to cover the cost. Congress did not approve that funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget. Immigration became a major theme of the Trump administration. Another order signed on this day aimed to add 10,000 immigration officers.

January 27: President Trump signed an executive order banning certain foreign travelers. It also banned all refugees for four months and Syrian refugees indefinitely.

This order was known by critics as the "Muslim ban," and it quickly landed in courts.

January 30: Trump signed an order reducing regulations. The order required any federal agency that proposed a new regulation to identify two existing ones to eliminate.

January 31: Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He was confirmed on April 7, 2017. Gorsuch filled the seat that was vacated when Justice Antonin Scalia died in February 2016.

Febuary 3: Trump signed an executive order asking the Treasury Department to revise financial regulations such as those imposed by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

March 6: Trump issued a new travel ban to replace the one he issued on January 27. It blocked travel from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The new ban didn't apply to lawful permanent residents and existing visa holders. The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on March 16. It was in effect for 90 days. Refugees not already scheduled for travel were banned for 120 days. It lowered the cap of refugees to 50,000 from 110,000.

March 28: Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge to cancel restrictions on shale oil, clean coal, and other sources of energy production. He signed an order that suspended, rescinded, or flagged for review several Obama-era measures that addressed climate change. He rescinded orders to address the link between climate change and defense. He initiated a review of Obama's Clean Power Plan. That restricts carbon emissions at coal-fueled power plants.

April 18: Trump fulfilled a campaign pledge to review the U.S. visa program for abuse. He signed an executive order to replace the current lottery for H-1B visas. Instead, the order says, the Department of Labor should only award H-1B visas to highly skilled workers.

April 24: Trump's Department of Commerce accused Canada of dumping lumber on the U.S. market. It threatened to impose a roughly 20% tariff on Canada's roughly $5.66 billion in lumber imports to the U.S.

April 26: Trump released his tax plan. By the end of the year, this proposal worked its way through Congress and became the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Congress made significant changes, but many priorities outlined in the proposal were reflected in the final bill—many of them tax reductions—like lower personal tax rates, a reduced estate tax, and a steep cut to corporate tax rates.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many executive orders did President Trump sign in his first 100 days?

During his first 100 days, President Trump signed 32 executive orders. By the end of 2017, the total number of executive orders grew to 55.

Why are the first 100 days important?

The first 100 days don't hold any legal significance, but many Americans consider them to be the time that sets the tone for a president's term. Many historians credit FDR with pioneering this concept in 1933. It has generally remained the time frame in which a president's leadership feels new, and its political power is especially strong.

Article Sources

  1. Bureau of Global Public Affairs. "Here's Why a New President's First 100 Days Matter So Much."

  2. National Archives. "Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal."

  3. Department of Housing and Urban Development. "Suspension of Mortgagee Letter 2017-01 -Reduction of Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) Rates."

  4. National Archives. "Withdrawal of the United States From the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement."

  5. National Archives. "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Appointees."

  6. Associated Press. "Trump Frees Former Aids From Ethics Pledge, Lobbying Ban."

  7. Department of State. "TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, L.P. Application for Presidential Permit, Keystone XL Pipeline," Page 3.

  8. National Archives. "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements."

  9. National Archives. "Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States."

  10. National Archives. "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States."

  11. National Archives. "Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs."

  12. C-Span. "Supreme Court Nominee Announcement."

  13. United States Senate. "Roll Call Vote 115th Congress—1st Session."

  14. National Archives. "Core Principles for Regulating the United States Financial System."

  15. Department of Human Services. "Fact Sheet: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry to the United States."

  16. Pew Research Center. "U.S. on Track to Reach Obama Administration's Goal of Resettling 110,000 Refugees This Year."

  17. National Archives. "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth."

  18. National Archives. "Buy American and Hire American."

  19. Department of Commerce. "Commerce Makes Preliminarily Determination of Countervailable Subsidies on Imports of Softwood Lumber from Canada."

  20. CNBC. "The White House Just Outlined Its Tax Plan. Here's What's in It."

  21. Federal Registrar. "2017 Donald Trump Executive Orders."