President Trump's First 100 Days and Their Economic Impact

Trump Signature
••• Photo by J. Scott Applewhite - Pool/Getty Images

Trump’s first 100 days started Jan. 20, 2017, and ended April 29, 2017. A president's first 100 days is a traditional barometer of success. Republican Donald Trump is 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 is not a typical Republican.

Jan. 20. Trump signed an executive order to "ease the burden" of Obamacare. It directs federal agencies to do what they can within the existing law to lift the ACA's mandates. Here's more on its impact and other aspects of 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.

Jan. 23. Trump signed an order to withdraw from further negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 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. 

Jan. 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. 

 Jan. 25. Trump signed an order to build a wall along the 2,000-mile U.S. border with Mexico. He estimated the cost at $10 billion to $20 billion. That's the same as the budget for either the Justice Department or the National Aeronautic Space Administration. Trump's order redirected current funds to cover the cost. But Congress did not approve that funding in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

Trump's Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the wall wouldn't work unless border agents patrolled it. He said the best way to stop drug smugglers was drying it up at the source. That would require increasing behavioral health funding for U.S. treatment programs. Kelly worked with Peru and others when he led the U.S. Southern Command.

Trump promised to force Mexico to pay for the wall. If it refused, he threatened to change a rule under the USA Patriot Act, an antiterrorism law. The change would confiscate Western Union money transfers to Mexico from immigrants who moved here illegally. The Mexican central bank reported that $25 billion was sent from abroad. There are no exact figures on how much of that is from U.S. immigrants.

Trump's other orders require stronger vetting for immigrants from the Middle East and Africa. He would also withhold federal funds from "sanctuary cities." That's if they don't turn over criminals in America illegally to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He would also add 5,000 border agents.

Jan. 27. President Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven countries. They were Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq. It also banned all refugees for four months and Syrian refugees indefinitely. The American Civil Liberties Union and others filed lawsuits on behalf of clients affected by the ban. On Feb. 3, Federal Judge James Robart blocked the ban. The Department of Homeland Security suspended the ban's enforcement on Feb. 5.

Jan. 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. On Inauguration Day, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus prepared a memo to all agencies halting new regulations.

Jan. 31. Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He was confirmed on April 7, 2017. Gorsuch is a conservative replacement for Antonin Scalia. That means he will interpret the Constitution literally and as it was intended by our Founding Fathers. For example, he sided with Hobby Lobby's freedom to withhold insurance coverage for contraceptives. Coverage was mandated by the Affordable Care Act, but this went against the business owners' religious convictions.

Feb. 3. Trump signed an executive order asking the U.S. Treasury Department to revise the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. Since hundreds of Dodd-Frank regulations are now part of international banking agreements, that will be difficult. That was what the Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin, reported on June 13, 2017.

March 6. Trump issued a new travel ban to replace the one he issued on January 27. It blocked travel from all the prior countries except Iraq. 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 16. The Office of Management and Budget released memos outlining budget requests for FY 2017 and FY 2018. 

March 27. 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 19. 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 Labor Department should award H-1B visas to highly skilled workers only. 

April 20. Republicans in Congress amended the American Health Care Act. The Trump Administration had supported that bill to replace Obamacare on March 6, 2017. "Freedom Caucus" Republicans killed it because it did not cut costs enough. The amendment allowed states to waive ACA requirements to offer 10 essential benefits if it would cut costs. On May 3, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act. Donald Trump’s policies on health care will raise concerns over higher premium prices.

April 24. The Commerce Department accused Canada of dumping lumber on the U.S. market. It threatened to impose a 20 percent tariff on Canada's $10 billion in lumber exports.

April 26, 2017. Trump released his tax plan. It's very similar to the "Five-Part Tax Plan" he outlined during the 2016 presidential campaign. The Tax Policy Center analyzed the 2016 plan. It said that at first, it would boost the economy because it would put more money into people's pockets. But it would damp growth in the long run. Trump's Tax Plan is mostly advantageous to businesses and high-income families.

On the same day, Trump signaled that he may sign an executive order to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement. He changed his mind the following day. This came after the Jan. 23 order to renegotiate the trade agreement. He assigned the negotiations to his team of incoming appointees. They include Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. It also includes the head of the new White House Trade Council, Peter Navarro.

Should Trump dump NAFTA, American import prices will increase. Inflation could result because the country’s volume of imports from Mexico is a close second to that from China. Conversely, export volumes to Mexico and Canada will decrease. This could threaten the U.S. agricultural sector, which exports $17.9 billion of agricultural products to Mexico, alone.