The Detroit Post
Wednesday, 01 December, 2021

Donald Trump Economy

James Smith
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 8 min read

The president’s record on the economy has been diminished by the devastating fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. Polls, however, tend to remain positive for him when voters are asked who they trust more to create jobs and economic growth.

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This sentiment stems from Trump ’s career as a businessman, an early tax cut he signed as president and a hitherto strong stock market, which -- on paper at least -- boosts retirement savings. Gross domestic product and job numbers are the main measures of US economic health.

In January this year, however, before states imposed lockdowns to try and contain the coronavirus, the Labor Department issued an update that was less positive; revised numbers showed job growth slowed significantly in the first three years of Trump ’s presidency. Unemployment peaked at 14.7 percent in April 2020 -- almost seven million Americans filed for government help in one week of March alone.

The number of jobless people making new claims for benefits remains at a historic high -- 870,000 in the week that ended September 19 -- a sign that a patchy US economic recovery is losing steam. None of these three presidents have run close to reaching a historic high; the 1950s and 1960s saw years when growth was more than five percent annually.

When he entered office on January 20, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 19,827.25 points. But as business confidence plunged with the pandemic the Dow Jones cratered and closed at 19,173.98 on March 20, 2021, ending the index’s worst week since 2008.

When percentage growth during Trump ’s tenure is compared with Obama’s, however, a very different picture emerges. In the 44 months of Trump ’s first term the Dow Jones has grown 38.5 percent, in total.

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The latest numbers show economic output surged by an annualized 33% in the third quarter of 2020, following a record fall as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Trump has said the recent recovery in growth is “the biggest in the history of our country by almost triple...that's bigger than any nation”.

It then crashed as markets reacted to the coronavirus pandemic, wiping out all the gains made since President Trump took office. But the financial markets have been remarkably resilient and have largely recovered back to near pre-pandemic levels, although there have been recent wobbles.

Prior to the pandemic, President Trump claims to have delivered the lowest unemployment rate in half a century. As in many parts of the world, coronavirus lockdown measures very quickly led to soaring levels of unemployment in the US.

The rapid increase in average earnings then seen at the start of the coronavirus lockdown were largely as a consequence of the lowest-earning Americans losing their jobs at a disproportionate rate, following the economic downturn. With lower wage-earners out of jobs, the average hourly wage data skewed sharply upwards.

In 2019, around 4.2 million fewer people were living in poverty in the US compared with the previous year, according to official data. Image captioned banks in the US face continued demand as unemployment due to the pandemic persists.

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Nick DesantisPresident Trump has been in office for three years, which is enough time to analyze how the economy is doing vs. his statements on how it would perform. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released its first estimate for 2019’s fourth quarter GDP growth and for the full year.

Nick DeSantis GDP growth hasn’t reached Trump ’s 3% or higher goal During Trump ’s three years in office, it has fallen 1.2% and the decrease was essentially a continuation from the Great Recession’s recovery.

Nick DeSantis Manufacturing jobs hurt by the trade wars Manufacturing jobs rebounded in Trump ’s first two years in office, but their growth rate slowed dramatically in 2019.

Wage growth has taken a step up during Trump ’s Presidency, but fell off a bit in 2019. Economists have expected wage growth to be stronger as the economy recovered from the Great Recession, but it seems to be stuck at around 3%.

Nick DeSantis U.S. goods exports to China have fallen, hurting companies and farmers A result of Trump ’s trade war with China is U.S. companies and farmers selling fewer goods to it.

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One group that has been especially hard hit is soybean farmers as their exports to China have fallen almost $20 billion over the past two years. In August Donald Trump boasted to the Republican National Convention that, before the coronavirus pandemic, he had “built the strongest economy in the history of the world” in the three years after he became president.

One of the flashiest economic claims that Donald Trump made when he was running for president in 2016 was that it was possible to raise the growth rate of America’s gross domestic product to 4 per cent a year. As for policy in a second term, analysts at the US credit rating agency Moody’s estimate that Joe Biden’s infrastructure spending plans would boost the US economy more than Donald Trump ’s proposed tax cuts.

Using the comparable period in Barack Obama’s second term (January 2013 to December 2015) the number of jobs also rose by around 7 million. Under Trump ’s first three years the labor force participation rate rose slightly to 63.5 per cent.

And the deadlock in negotiations with the Democrats in Congress on extending the $2 trillion stimulus package from March is seen as creating a serious risk of more business failures and another spike in joblessness. He claimed that his trade wars (along with pressure on US chief executives) would encourage American companies to bring back their manufacturing production from Asia and Latin America and elsewhere.

Yet the Kearney analysts warn this was more attributable to a drop in imports from the traditional Asian economies rather than a significant rise in US manufacturing output. On top of these researchers found that deliberately targeted retaliatory tariffs from China on US exports hit firms in Republican-voting areas the hardest.

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“Every policy decision we make must pass a simple test: does it create more jobs and better wages for Americans?” he said. There was a huge jump in average wages in the current crisis, though this reflected the big drop in a surge of redundancies for low-income workers and other statistical distortions rather than a genuine pay rises for Americans in the pandemic.

“Our focus is on helping the folks who work in the mail rooms and the machine shops of America,” claimed the President. For much of the past four years Trump ’s Twitter feed while he has been in office has been dominated by boasts about the performance of the stock market.

Share prices, as represented by the index of America’s largest 500 companies, did rise sharply from the moment he was elected president in November 2016. But shares also fell at a faster rate than the Wall Street Crash in February this year as the pandemic terrified investors and traders.

This hasn't changed much for the 2020 election, in which he is running against Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump's “America First” energy plan started with an announcement in June 2017 that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.The Paris Climate Agreement has 195 signatories that pledged to cut their greenhouse-gas emissions to keep global warming from worsening any more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Even if greenhouses gases were reduced, irreversible bio geophysical feedbacks in the climate would create a “Hothouse Earth.” The U.S. is responsible for about 28% of the world's carbon emissions.The other signatories can't reach the accord's goal without U.S. participation.

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The Trump administration renegotiated NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, creating the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The agreement had been signed in 2015 to remove sanctions on Iran's oil exports in exchange for a reduction in the country's nuclear program.

The tariffs “raise vehicle prices for all customers, limit consumer choice, and invite retaliatory action by our trading partners.” China retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of U.S. products.In December 2019, Trump announced a trade deal between the U.S. and China.In the deal, China agreed to increase imports of U.S. goods by $200 billion annually and the U.S. agreed to cut tariffs on some goods by half.

Trump's health care policies focus on three areas: the COVID-19 pandemic, weakening Obamacare, and reducing drug costs. He signed four stimulus laws that provided a record $2.5 trillion to agencies, businesses, and families dealing with the crisis.

He launched Operation Warp Speed to develop and distribute safe vaccines and treatments in record time.He used the Defense Product Act to produce 100,000 ventilators. The New England Journal of Medicine said the U.S. didn't adequately test nor provide health care workers and the public with enough protective equipment.

As healthy people drop coverage, health insurance companies may end up with the sickest and costliest to treat, which can increase costs for everyone. President Trump weakened Medicaid by allowing states to impose work requirements on recipients.

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The requirement targeted the small percentage of childless single adults to whom the ACA expanded benefits. To lower drug prices, Trump signed a 2020 executive order requiring health centers to pass any discounts on insulin and epinephrine to their patients.Through participating, enhanced Medicare Part D plans, a month's supply of insulin was available for a $35 co-pay.

In a CNN interview, Trump said the U.S. will never default on its debt because it can print the money.This approach could result in a major financial crisis. Those who use or may need public benefits like Medicaid, food stamps, or housing aid may not receive their desired immigration status.

A crucial part of Trump's plan is to complete the wall along the 1,954-mile U.S. border with Mexico. He briefly separated immigrant children from their parents before ending the policy due to popular outcry.Trump ordered that asylum seekers be returned to Mexico while waiting for the outcome of their hearings.

President Trump faces an uphill battle in stopping immigration because conditions in some Latin American countries are so bad. To create jobs, President Trump launched the Rebuild America plan.It outlined $200 billion in spending over 10 years to leverage billions in business spending and would reduce permit process time by eight years.The plan was not executed.

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