Sunday, 22 January 2017

Trump prepares for busy Monday, pledges NAFTA changes, other executive orders

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WASHINGTON — President Trump, having declared post-inaugural Monday the true opening day of his new administration, spent Sunday pondering a string of executive orders on topics
ranging from immigration to Israel to the economy, including what he called a re-working of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Supervising the swearing-in of 30 new White House staff members, Trump said he will soon meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto to discuss changes to NAFTA, the trade deal he claims has shipped U.S. jobs to those other countries.
"We will start some negotiations having to do with NAFTA. Anyone ever hear of NAFTA? I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA," he said. "Mexico has been terrific, actually, and the president has been really quite amazing."
Trump's public schedule for Monday includes separate meetings with corporate and union leaders, an intelligence briefing, lunch with Vice President Pence, a reception for congressional leaders and a one-on-one meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan. And in the morning, he's set aside time to ceremoniously sign executive orders.
Two days after his inauguration, Trump also spoke with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the Situation Room, and prepared to meet with law enforcement and first responders who worked during the inaugural weekend.
Trump said his conversation with Netanyahu was "very nice,"  but declined to elaborate. The White House later said the two men discussed Iran, the Islamic State, and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and that Trump invited Netanyahu to Washington in February. Netanyahu said he accepted.
Not mentioned in the White House summary of the call: A possible plan to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump had pledged to do so during his campaign — bucking 20 years of precedent by Democratic and Republican presidents — although press secretary Sean Spicer said the White House was "at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject."
The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 requires the president to move the embassy to Jerusalem unless he certifies every six months that it's not in the national interest. Every president since Bill Clinton has done so, including President Obama most recently last Dec. 1 — giving Trump until the end of May to make a formal decision.

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