A look at the orders and memoranda President Trump issued


Donald Trump has wasted little time since he was sworn into office last Friday.

The 45th president has issued a bevy of memoranda and executive orders, primarily about jobs and infrastructure. Here is a brief overview of those actions.

Keystone XL Pipeline Memorandum

The Trump Administration says this memorandum helps fulfill the campaign promise of initiating the process for approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, an 1,100-mile crude oil pipeline to connect oil production in Alberta, Canada to refineries in the United States.

Construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, as well as oil production and refining activities related to it, would create tens of thousands of jobs for American workers, the Trump team said. It would also enhance our nation’s energy security, support affordable and reliable energy for American families and generate significant State and local tax revenues that can be invested in schools, hospitals, and infrastructure, Trump officials contend.

Memorandum Regarding Dakota Access Pipeline

Trump directed relevant Federal agencies, including the Army Corps of Engineers, to expedite reviews and approvals for the remaining portions of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The $3.8 billion, 1,100-mile pipeline is designed to carry an estimated 500,000 barrels per day of crude oil from the Bakken and Three Forks oil production areas in North Dakota to oil markets in the U.S.

At this time, DAPL is more than 90 percent complete across its entire route.  Only a limited stretch of the project is not yet constructed.

Construction of American Pipelines Memorandum

In keeping with his commitment to “Buy American, Hire American,” Trump directed the secretary of commerce to consult with relevant executive departments and agencies and develop a plan under which all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines, inside the borders of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.  The secretary of commerce is to submit the plan to the president within 180 days of the date of this memorandum.

Memorandum Streamlining Regulatory Burdens for Domestic Manufacturing

Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce will conduct outreach to stakeholders and solicit comments from the public concerning Federal actions to streamline permitting and reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers.

The Commerce Secretary will submit a report identifying recommendations to streamline Federal permitting processes for domestic manufacturing and to reduce regulatory burdens affecting domestic manufacturers. The report should identify priority actions as well as recommended deadlines for completing actions.

Order Expediting Environmental Reviews and Approvals For High-Priority Projects

Trump plans to establish a framework for expediting environmental reviews for high priority infrastructure projects.

Delays and other inefficiencies in the environmental review and permitting process are severely impeding critically important projects to rebuild and modernize our nation’s infrastructure, such as highways, bridges, tunnels, the electrical grid, ports, water systems, airports, railways and pipelines.

According to one study, our antiquated power rigs wastes the equivalent of 200 coal-fired power plants, water pipes leak trillions of gallons of water, and gridlock on roads and railroads wastes hundreds of billions annually.

Memorandum Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership

The first executive action Trump took was to permanently withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade agreement that is not in the best interest of American workers.

This action ushers in a new era of U.S. trade policy in which the Trump Administration will pursue bilateral free trade opportunities with allies around the world, wherever possible, to promote American industry, protect American workers, and raise American wages. It is the policy of the Trump Administration to represent the American people and their financial well-being in all negotiations, particularly the American worker, and to create fair and economically beneficial trade deals that serve their interests.

Hiring Freeze

Trump issued a memorandum which imposes a hiring freeze on the executive branch to counter the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years and the costs attendant to that expansion.

The number of federal employees has grown from approximately 1.8 million civilian employees during the Clinton Administration to approximately 2.1 million as of 2016 (an approximately 17 percent increase).

Meanwhile, federal employee health and retirement benefits continue to be based on antiquated assumptions and require a level of generosity long since abandoned by most of the private sector, Trump officials contend.  Those costs are unsustainable for the Federal government, just as they are proving to be unsustainable for state and local governments with similar health and retirement packages.

Mexico City Policy

Trump issued a memorandum reestablishing the Mexico City Policy. Under this initiative, the United States will end the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund abortions overseas, along with coercive abortion and sterilization practices.

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