In his first week in office, President Donald Trump signed a series of documents under his executive authorities on topics ranging from trade to national security to immigration, including on “extreme vetting” of persons from select Arab countries and establishing an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) also formally invited President Trump to address a joint session of Congress on 28 February.
TPP – U.S. Withdraws. On 23 January, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). On 30 January, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative sent a letter to the TPP depository officially notifying the TPP member states that the United States has withdrawn from the agreement. The letter emphasizes the commitment of the United States to free and fair trade and encourages future discussions on “measures designed to promote more efficient markets and higher levels of economic growth.”
Mexico – Tensions Flare. President Trump spoke with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on 27 January, after tensions flared earlier in the week when President Trump signed an Executive Order directing federal agencies to begin plans to build a wall along the U.S. Southern Border, separately reiterating previous pledges that Mexico would pay for the project. President Peña Nieto cancelled a visit to Washington scheduled for this week soon thereafter.
On Friday, the two leaders spoke by phone, after which the White House provided:
The two had a productive and constructive call regarding the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the current trade deficit the United States has with Mexico, the importance of the friendship between the two nations, and the need for the two nations to work together to stop drug cartels, drug trafficking and illegal guns and arms sales. With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.”
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