Editor’s Note: This post was written by Loryn DeFalco.
After a long campaign, President Trump is now faced with certain challenges and opportunities. While Trump’s policy goals have been erratic, repealing the Affordable Care Act has been a clear and consistent objective for Trump and the Republican Party. The successful repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act is an important opportunity for the new administration. On the other hand, Trump does not have the same opportunities with regards to foreign policy. It will be challenging for President Trump to remain isolationist and follow through with his campaign promises in the current global conditions.
Throughout the campaign, Trump was seen as an outsider and set himself apart on foreign policy. He first set himself apart from the rest of the Republican nominees by criticizing former President George W. Bush’s foreign policy and his involvement in Iraq at the Republican primary debate in South Carolina. Strategists believed that Trump’s decision to denounce Bush’s foreign policy, specifically in a region that widely approved of the former President Bush, was an egregious error. However, Trump went on to win the state’s primary a week later. This stance on foreign policy proved to be successful because Trump was able to mobilize support from those with isolationist views. Thomas Wright, a foreign policy expert at the Brookings Institute believes that this election outcome has the opportunity to overturn the international order. Trump’s foreign policy could potentially have instrumental consequences because we live in an immensely interconnected world. The United States economy depends on trade, but some of Trump’s policies could potentially lead to a trade war because countries will retaliate. This would threaten the United States economy. Additionally, the potential cost of Trump’s promised wall is a 20% tariff on goods coming from Mexico. Now that Trump has won the election and has become the 45th President of the United States, he will face the challenge of maintaining his stance on foreign policy and trying to stay true to his constituency, without putting the United States in a vulnerable position.
Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, Republicans have been trying to repeal the legislation. This policy goal has not been probable with the divided government under President Obama. Now that Republicans control the House, Senate and the presidency, repealing the Affordable Care Act is within reach for Republican congresspersons and President Trump. Republicans took their first major step toward repealing the Affordable Care Act on January 12, 2017 by passing a special budget resolution. However, the real opportunity will be successfully replacing the Affordable Care Act. Republican Senator Roger Wicker believes that this policy goal offers a significant opportunity because the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act was a campaign promise for many Republicans in office. Many Republicans have replacement bills, including Senators Bill Cassidy, Susan Collins and Rand Paul. The successful replacement of the Affordable Care Act is a huge opportunity because it was a major campaign promise for many Republicans in office, most notably President Trump.
The challenges and opportunities that a new administration face are going to be subject to the global and domestic conditions of the time. The challenges and opportunities that President Trump is facing will define his presidency as a success or failure.