From the very beginning of Donald Trump’s 2016 election as President, he has faced a deluge of personal and professional attacks, smear campaigns, lawsuits, special counsel investigations, a biased mainstream media, and a long list of opponents who worked to sabotage his policies. Nevertheless, Trump successfully navigated the waters of Washington, DC, in several areas that made America stronger, better, and fairer for Americans of all stripes.
Domestically and legislatively, it can easily be argued that Donald Trump’s marquee accomplishment is the passage of the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Aided by a united Congress, President Trump started his economic growth agenda by updating and simplifying America’s outdated tax code, something that has alluded Presidents of both parties for decades. In addition to providing tax relief, Trump’s tax policy spurred economic growth; one year after passage, America’s middle class, primarily households making $25,000-$100,000 per year, saw some of the sharpest declines in federal income tax paid. In contrast, adjusted gross incomes were 5.7% higher in 2019 than the year prior.
Another success of President Trump’s America First agenda is really a one-two punch combo of trade policy that saw an overhaul of American imports and exports with our immediate North American neighbors Canada and Mexico while carrying out an international agenda focused on holding China accountable and evening the playing field. Again, defying the critics, President Trump successfully negotiated the signing of the US-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA) ratified by Congress and the respective legislatures in Mexico and Canada. At the same time, President Trump delivered on another campaign promise of holding China accountable through a series of executive orders, federal regulations, and trade policies that will cost China approximately $200 billion more for U.S. goods and services over two years, while simultaneously negotiating with the Chinese on a broader, more fair, and balanced bilateral trade agreement.
On the international front, many of President Trump’s campaign pledges were fulfilled. On the battlefield, US-led forces reclaimed 95% of ISIS territory in Iraq and Syria, while renowned terrorists Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Qasem Soleimani were brought to justice. With those battlefield gains, the Trump Administration has brought home the majority of U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the time the next President is sworn in, there will be approximately 2,500 troops left in each country. Over the last four years, President Trump has secured the repatriation of over 50 Americans imprisoned in countries like Iran, Egypt, North Korea, and Turkey.
However, the Trump Presidency’s marquee international achievement comes in an area that also alluded to his predecessors: advancing Middle East peace. Following the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, the Trump Administration turned to cement bi-lateral peace agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan and Morocco.
Within our shores and abroad, President Trump’s America First approach has resulted in significant results for the American people, our allies, and peace in the Middle East. It should also be noted that while the outcome of the 2020 election at the top was not in President Trump’s favor, Republicans may have retained the Senate (two seats in Georgia heading to a runoff) and have gained at least 13 seats in the House, leaving Democrats with their smallest House majority since 1893. President Trump’s 74 million-plus votes, the most for a Republican ever, also helped keep Democrats from flipping a single state legislature, with Democrats locked out of redistricting in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina despite millions of dollars of spending of years of planning.
Winning at home and abroad was what Donald Trump set out to do four years ago, and his record shows a results-driven approach to some of the most complex challenges facing America today, and we can expect to keep hearing about them, and others, playout for years to come.