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U.S. under Trump Series: Key highlights from President Trump’s SOTU address

President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address last night in Washington, where he declared a new era for America. In case you missed it, here is the link to his full speech https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4FmQtOPbF4

I case you don’t have time to watch it in full, here are the key highlights,

Beginning:

  • The president started his speech naming the hardships the country went through in 2017, from hurricanes to fires to the Las Vegas shooting and talked about the need for unity, “I call upon all of us to set aside our differences, to seek out common ground and to summon the unity we need to deliver for the people".

Economy:

  • He then projected the success of his administration, mainly economic and his delivering of promised tax cuts, “Since the election, we have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone.  After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages. Unemployment claims have hit a 45-year low.  African-American unemployment stands at the lowest rate ever recorded, and Hispanic American unemployment has also reached the lowest levels in history. Small business confidence is at an all-time high.  The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.  That is great news for Americans’ 401k, retirement, pension, and college savings accounts. And just as I promised the American people from this podium 11 months ago, we enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history.”
  • He added that he wants to make Detroit, the motor city reviving its engines once again.

Healthcare:

  • He next announced that healthcare is among his top priorities next year. President promised to bring down the price of drugs.

Infrastructure:

  • Trump called on Congress to produce a bill generating $1.5 trillion for the new infrastructure investment our country so desperately needs, leveraging every dollar for private partnerships to overcome the infrastructure deficit.

Immigration:

  • Trump also addressed immigration reform disagreements, which caused the recent government shutdown. He called on Congress to finally close the deadly loopholes that allowed gangs like MS-13 to break into our country, and vowed his loyalty to Americans, “The US is a compassionate nation….We help the needy, the suffering and underprivileged around the world. But my concern is for America’s children, America’s struggling workers and America’s forgotten communities. I want our poor to have their chance to rise.”

General:

  • He also called for investing in workforce development and job training, and called for paid family leave, “And let’s support working families by supporting paid family leave”.
  • The President added that it is his duty to protect Americans and their right to American dreams because Americans are dreamers too.
  • Criticized NFL for not standing up for the American anthem.

Foreign policy:

  • On Foreign Policy, Trump said that around the world the US faces terrorists and rivals like Russia and China, hence called on Congress to help strengthen American military. He said, “We must modernize and rebuild our nuclear arsenal, hopefully never having to use it”. He also called for stronger borders and a wall along the southern border.
  • He also took aim on countries like Venezuela, Cuba, and North Korea, “My Administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela. But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea. North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles could very soon threaten our homeland. We are waging a campaign of maximum pressure to prevent that from happening. Past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation.  I will not repeat the mistakes of past administrations that got us into this dangerous position. We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies.”

Opioid Crisis:

  • He promised to make opioid crisis as one of his priorities.

President finished the speech saying,

“A people whose heroes live not only in the past, but all around us — defending hope, pride, and the American way. They work in every trade.  They sacrifice to raise a family.  They care for our children at home.  They defend our flag abroad.  They are strong moms and brave kids.  They are firefighters, police officers, border agents, medics, and Marines. But above all else, they are Americans.  And this Capitol, this city, and this Nation belong to them. Our task is to respect them, to listen to them, to serve them, to protect them, and to always be worthy of them. Americans fill the world with art and music.  They push the bounds of science and discovery.  And they forever remind us of what we should never forget:  The people dreamed this country. The people built this country.  And it is the people who are making America great again. As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail.

Our families will thrive.

Our people will prosper.

And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Thank you, and God bless America.”

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