Donald Trump's New Vision: Current Trends in Public Administration

Krylov Alexander, School of Governance and Politics

Abstract. The article is devoted to the transition of power in the USA and its subsequences to the global society. Thus, the democratic political course in the US has once again been reversed to the republican one, which implies a whole range of reforms in all spheres of life. It is extremely important to put emphasis on this fact, as in reality the USA is a highly developed country which is surely the first to affect the global processes. In this connection, our government is highly interested in the way the events will take course in the nearest future in order to analyze them and retaliate.

Keywords: Transition of power, elections, inauguration, reforms, executive orders, Dodd-Frank Act, ObamaCare, ISIS militant group, National Security Council, Syrian refugees, illegal immigration, great rebuilding of the Armed Forces, new administration, NATO

Despite what many analysts and politicians had predicted, it is Donald Trump, a 70-year-old multi-billionaire, who was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States.  It seemed that Hillary Clinton’s victory was only a matter of time, yet the situation was more complex than it appeared. So, where is the catch? According to MGIMO professors V.V. Subochev and G.T. Sargaryan, “it is something that cannot be described or analyzed by means of modern sociology. Even though all surveys suggested Clinton’s inevitable victory, albeit by a small margin, it was Donald Trump who came in first – and by a landslide. The fact of the matter is that Trump’s supporters, as opposed to Clinton’s, take a more active part in deciding the fate of their country. They didn’t stay home on Election Day, they came to cast their conscience vote, because they believed that their vote would make a difference. On the contrary, Clinton’s supporters are rather passive. They are content with the current state of affairs in the USA. They do not believe that their vote is powerful enough, because of their firm conviction that the election results are predetermined. On Election Day, many of them preferred to get their errands done, not thinking that the outcome of the elections might be completely different. We must give credit to Donald Trump, a man, whose drive, persistence and eloquence astonished the whole world. He is a republican with a good deal of populism. Nobody doubted that he would ‘walk the walk’.”

Thus, the democratic political course in the US has once again been reversed to the republican one, which implies a whole range of reforms in all spheres of life. Immediately after his inauguration, Trump began to put his numerous promises into effect, namely, his 100-day action plan which he proposed earlier in the presidential race.

President Trump has signed executive orders concerning the economic growth of the country. According to CNN, one of them is connected with the Dodd-Frank Act, which limits the use of the nation’s financial resources. Previously, Trump claimed that the Dodd-Frank Act is hindering financial institutions and needs to be revoked.

Another order is to cancel Obama’s act on financial advisors. Last year, the former US president signed an executive order, obliging brokers and financial advisors to act strictly in the interests of their clients, not in their own. Financiers have voiced strong criticism against that, noting that enacting this initiative would cost billions of dollars.

One of the Trump’s executive orders is aimed at encouraging efforts against the ISIS militant group. Within a 30-day period, the Joint Chiefs of Staff is to devise a plan to defeat the Islamic State. Trump also ordered the Pentagon to search for new allies in the war against the IS beyond the framework of the coalition established under the former US president.

President Trump has also ordered a reorganization of the National Security Council. Trump said, the National Security Council will be restructured in order to better meet the modern challenges, namely, the “digital threats”. The fifth document puts a five-year lobbying ban on the members of the executive authorities after they leave office. Moreover, there is a lifetime ban on lobbying on behalf of foreign governments. Trump explained that people who want to work for him “should focus on the jobs they will be doing to help the American people, and not thinking about the future income they could rake in”.

Another order suspends refugee admission from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 120 days, while Syrian refugees are banned from entering the States indefinitely. The order also entails overall stricter entry regulations, as well as a 90-day entry ban for people from the seven aforementioned Muslim-majority countries. The White House officials added that the list of the countries under restrictions was compiled previously by the US Congress. Many American congressmen are convinced that it is those seven countries that pose the greatest terrorism threat.

Donald Trump has signed an executive order, setting in motion his plan to build a border wall between the US and Mexico in order to combat illegal immigration. In an interview with ABC News, President Trump explained the conditions of the said act and promised that the construction will begin “in months”. He said that it will start as soon as the US “can physically do it”. Apart from that, the executive actions include increasing the number of Customs and Border Protection staff on the Mexican border. Trump once again pointed out that the wall will be reimbursed for by Mexico “100 per cent”, and the negotiations will be held “as soon as possible”. He conceded that the US taxpayers indeed will pay the initial bill, which will then be covered by the money the US will get from Mexico.

Another order Trump has signed in the Oval Office directs the federal government to “reduce the burden of regulation” while the reform of Obama’s healthcare program “Obamacare” is being prepared. Reuters says that, according to the act, government officials must exercise their authority to “waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation” of any condition of the said healthcare program. The act also directs the officials to “encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance”.

Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency reports that Trump signed an executive order on the “great rebuilding of the Armed Forces” which is expected to include providing “new planes, new ships, new resources and new tools for our men and women in uniform”.

At the end of the first week in office, Donald Trump held a telephone conversation with the Russian president Vladimir Putin. The phone call was long-awaited by many people, because it was seen as a chance to resolve the most serious crisis in the Russian-American relations since the end of the Cold War. The conversation continued for 45 minutes. In the Oval Office, president Trump was accompanied by the key members of his team: Vice President Mike Pence, chief of staff Reince Priebus, national security adviser Mike Flynn, chief counselor Steve Bannon and press secretary Sean Spicer. Russian President’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov reported that president Putin took the call alone.

The conversation, in which the leaders agreed to arrange an in-person meeting, did not lead to an immediate thaw in relations. However, Trump’s team canceled an attack on Raqqa, the IS capital city, which was planned earlier by the Obama administration, on the grounds that it didn’t involve cooperation with Russia.

At the end of Donald Trump’s second week in office, 40% of Americans supported his impeachment, says Public Policy Polling. This is only the beginning. There seems to be more in store: a trade war with China and new sanctions against Iran in response to the ballistic missile program.

What conclusions can be drawn from the first two weeks of Trump’s presidency? What should Russia expect from him? So far, the main outcome of Trump’s foreign policy toward Russia has been that Washington took a less aggressive stance. I believe we can rightfully expect the relations to improve. There is no fundamental conflict of national interests between Putin and Trump. I think that as soon as Russia and the US start to cooperate on the Syrian crisis, the situation will get better.

Dr. Dmitri Trenin, director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, notes that Donald Trump chose principally new people to make up the White House staff than those who had been in office for the past 20 years.

“The new administration is comprised of “people of action”, be it military experts or financiers. They are not professors or think tank experts. They, just like Donald Trump himself, are used to getting things done from a position of strength. Those are serious people who always tend to have it their way, not willing to compromise,” says Dr. Trenin.

He also maintains that “this is going to be an interesting team, which will be challenging to work with on the one hand, but easy on the other, because they are guided by their interests rather than ideology or values”.

Will NATO fall apart? Evgeny Buzhinsky, chairman of the PIR Center (Russian Center for Political Studies), maintains that even though Trump called NATO “obsolete”, doubting its usefulness and viability, it is unlikely that the alliance will cease to exist. This isn’t only because Trump soon will need to change his standpoint, but also because European governments will not ignore his statement.

“It is my firm conviction that Europeans will take this allegation very seriously. Angela Merkel announced that Germany would increase its military spending to 2% of GDP, which is the share recommended by NATO. Trump will inevitably make them pay, no doubt about it. Being a businessman and a person who likes to manage money, it is obvious that Trump is not content with the fact that America funds approximately 70% of NATO. The US will continue to hold leading positions in NATO, but will make the member countries increase expenditures.

In conclusion, despite the growing concern among the democratically-minded citizens and officials, Donald Trump is pursuing a fundamentally different course of action, putting the main focus on domestic issues, while still giving enough attention to foreign affairs. The Trump era will be a period of great change, a time for seemingly crazy, but potentially promising ideas. There is no doubt that he will stand by his promise to make America great again.