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One year on: America under Trump

One year on: America under Trump
By Euronews
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On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump became president of the United States, marking the start of one of the most unusual years in American political history. What has Trump done this year and how does it compare to what he promised?


On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump became president of the United States, marking the start of one of the most unusual years in American political history.

What has Trump done this year and how does it compare to what he promised?

As the world looked on, Trump used his inauguration to double-down on the nationalist and isolationist rhetoric that defined his campaign. 

"America first, America first," punctuated his first speech to the nation at the Washington, D.C., National Mall. 

But he tried to reassure those Americans who voted against him that he would be a president for all.

"We are one nation and their pain is our pain, their dreams are our dreams, and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans."

But how has that worked out? 


Throughout his campaign Trump vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) -- better known as Obamacare -- and replace it with cheaper, better health insurance plans for all. 

But in the end, Trump couldn't get the Senate votes to repeal the ACA. Instead, Congress repealed the penalty for people who don't have health insurance, undercutting the financial cushion that helps keep Obamacare afloat. The Trump administration also cut informational ads encouraging people to sign up to the programme and eliminated subsidies for insurance companies.

The result: 5 percent fewer people nationwide are enrolled for 2018, meaning millions more Americans won't have health insurance.

Trump didn't repeal Obamacare but he has damaged it, perhaps fatally.


"We will get our people off of welfare and back to work, rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor," Trump promised at his inauguration.

He vowed to bring jobs back to America, particularly in the so-called Rust Belt, where manufacturing dominates the economy.

Overall, in January 2018, U.S. unemployment has fallen to 4.1 percent -- down from 4.8 percent this time last year.

It's good news but part of a trend that began under President Obama, who brought joblessness down from a peak of 10 percent in 2009.

The auto industry has added new jobs -- including a promise by Fiat Chrysler to add 2,500 jobs to its Michigan plant by 2020 -- but they've been undercut by bigger losses in the sector overall.

It's a similar story with the coal industry, which Trump also promised to revitalise: it gained 500 jobs in 2017 but a recent mine closure cut almost 400, leaving a net gain of around 130 new jobs.


"Build the wall!" 


Trump famously said he would build a wall on America's southern border and get Mexico to pay for it.

But there's still no wall and Mexico says it won't pay.

One year in and Congress is deadlocked over funding for the wall and broader immigration reform.

Analysts say the wall will never happen but it's dear to the hearts of Trump voters. If Trump plans to run for re-election, this is one campaign promise many of his supporters are likely to hold him accountable for.

America divided

After his first year in office, Trump hasn't fulfilled many promises.


His one victory -- passing trillions of dollars in tax cuts -- could come back to bite him at the ballot box if Democrats manage to sell their message that it's a tax break for the rich, paid for by the poor.

His promise to put America first has had mixed results. A travel ban on people from predominantly Muslim countries was curtailed by the courts - but Trump did pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Above all, Trump has divided America. 

Recent controversies have seen him labelled as racist by his detractors, while his supporters argue he's just talking the way "ordinary Americans" talk around their kitchen table. 

The Special Counsel investigation into the Trump campaign's possible ties to Russia is ongoing, again pitting "neverTrumpers" against his loyal base. 


This polarisation of the electorate is reflected in Trump's approval ratings. 

According to polling website RealClearPolitics, in the first two weeks of 2018, on average, 39.5 percent of Americans approve of Trump's job performance, whereas 55.5 percent disapprove. It's the lowest approval rating ever of a U.S. president's first year in office. 

But there is one thing everyone can agree on: he's not like any other president who's come before.

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