President Trump’s number of executive orders has now topped 30; a look at the latest that occurred during the week:
America First Offshore Energy Strategy – Akin to a study committee, it directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to review the current five-year development plan on the Outer Continental Shelf for offshore oil and gas exploration, as well as review the regulations and permitting process for development and seismic research. Zinke also will take comments from the public in addition to conducting his own examination – probably through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with input from the Department of Exterior and the Environmental Protection Agency. The order also prevents Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross from designating any new or expanding existing marine monuments and/or sanctuaries. Most likely, President Trump – even if he wins another term – will be out of office before anything could really change in this area.
Establishment of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy – The goal is strengthening domestic manufacturing and reducing the trade deficit. This directive puts Peter Navarro, President Trump’s principal trade adviser, in a permanent post – one enforcing the “Buy American” policies the President has established as a priority. On a related note, signed the same day was the Order Addressing Trade Agreement Violations and Abuses. “As far as I can tell, there has never been a systematic evaluation of what has been the impact of the World Trade Organization agreement on the country as an integrated whole,” Ross said during the press announcement. The Indiana Chamber strongly supports free trade agreements that create free and fair trade for the United States. We believe that international trade touches Indiana business of all sizes at some level. With 95% of the world’s consumers outside the U.S., Indiana and the nation would be shortsighted not to recognize the benefits of maintaining and even expanding our commerce ties with other countries.
Establishment of the American Technology Council– The objective is to help the government transform and modernize its digital services. President Trump will preside over the group, which will give “advice to the president related to policy decisions” regarding our government’s use of information technology.
Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty – Undoubtedly heavily influenced by Vice President Mike Pence, this directive offers relief to those groups that object on religious grounds to the Affordable Health Care Act provision mandating employers to provide certain health services, including contraception. They now can lawfully not abide by this provision. The order also allows the Internal Revenue Service to exercise “maximum enforcement discretion” over the Johnson amendment, which prohibits tax-exempt religious entities from stating political endorsements or opposition to a candidate.
A glance at two maps – top import and expert country for each state in 2016 – reveals some interesting observations:
On the export side, Canada is the leading destination from 33 states (including Indiana and 25 of the other 31 east of the Mississippi River)
Mexico (six states) and China (four states) were next on the list
Among the more intriguing partnerships: Nevada’s exports are going to Switzerland
On the import side, nine countries are represented with China (23 states) and Canada (14 states) leading the way
Indiana and Oregon are the two states in which the lead importer is Ireland (Happy St. Patrick’s Day, by the way!)
Of Indiana’s four neighbors, China is tops in Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, while Mexico (think auto industry) is the top partner with Michigan
Hawaii stands alone with its top partners of Indonesia (imports) and Australia (exports)
According to the American Enterprise Institute:
Last year, American companies sold $2.2 trillion worth of goods and services to buyers in other countries, and American companies and consumers purchased $2.7 trillion worth of imports from trading partners all around the world. Seven states – Michigan, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Washington and Texas – have their international trade represent more than 30% of their economic output.
Together, that volume of international trading activities represented 26% of the value of America’s $18.5 trillion in GDP in 2016. In terms of employment, more than 27 million American workers, about one in five, have jobs that are directly supported by trade with the rest of the world. Some states like California and Texas have more than two million jobs that are directly supported by international trade.
If you’re like me, you’re a casual fan of soccer who gets a big kick (sorry, Monday morning is the wrong time for puns) out of watching the World Cup. USA Soccer has released a list of possible future sites, and both Lucas Oil and Notre Dame Stadiums made the list. Granted, 70 stadiums were mentioned, but it’s something to think about:
The USA Bid Committee mailed letters last week to public officials and stadium operators in metropolitan markets across the United States in an initial and important step toward preparing a formal bid to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.
In all, 70 stadiums in more than 50 metropolitan markets are in consideration, ranging in market size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark. The outreach by U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee truly represents a national campaign to welcome the return of the world’s most popular sporting event to the United States, with the comprehensive mix of metro markets and world class venues representing a chief asset of the U.S. bid.
“The United States is uniquely qualified to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 as demonstrated by the dozens of metropolitan markets with venues capable of staging World Cup matches in every respect, from the quality of their stadiums to their overall ability to accommodate thousands of fans, news media and visitors from around the world,” said Gulati. “We will soon begin discussions with officials from throughout the U.S. in the name of presenting a world class proposal to FIFA and the global soccer community.”