Ahead of debate season, Donald Trump’s stance on key issues

Republican president Donald Trump’s stances on issues align with the party’s conservatism in economic and social policies. Historically, the Republican party has supported lower taxes, a free market, gun rights, restrictive immigration, restrictive labour unions, and military spending.

Trump’s immigration policies seek to protect the American worker and industry with programs such as ‘America First’. These policies follow the idea of economic nationalism and are a departure from earlier policy making that focused on helping refugees, family reunification and providing asylum. In his first State of the Union, Trump outlined his four pillars for immigration reform that centered on creating a path to citizenship, increasing border security, ending the diversity visa lottery and adding restrictions on family-based immigration.


Trump’s strategy to battle Covid-19 has shifted from containment and broad testing to narrow-focused testing for those who are most vulnerable to the virus. The Trump admiration argues that testing should go to those who need it most — the elderly, students, etc. The administration had also criticized widespread testing, pointing at the large number of cases coming out of the US. Recently Trump emphasized the expansion of testing with a plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests in coming months.

H-1B visa

The Trump administration in August relaxed a few rules around the H-1B visas, allowing applicants currently outside the US that are being considered for one (conditional upon meeting certain criteria). This was the first relaxation to these rules since Trump signed a proclamation in June, suspending the entry of certain non-immigrant visa categories like H-1B and L1 visas till the end of the year to protect American workers. This ties into Trump’s ‘America First’ ideology.

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Trump’s economic policies have focused on corporate and individual tax cuts, trade protectionism, and deregulation in energy and finance. So far in the President’s first term, there have been tax cuts and additional spending to boost economic growth, which has also led to an increase in the federal budget deficits. Some analysts have attributed the early-on success of the administration to inheriting a strong economy from Obama’s administration.

Healthcare was an early talking point in Trump’s presidency. In his first week in office, he signed an executive order in anticipation of repealing Obamacare. Earlier this year, he claimed that a socialist healthcare system would be detrimental to patients as it would abolish private insurance, taking it away from around 180 million Americans and giving it to “illegal aliens”. Recently he added that the US already has a much better healthcare plan and for much less money.



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