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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Arms pact is the latest agreement for Trump to erase or diminish

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the U.S.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces the U.S. withdrawal from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the State Department in Washington on Friday. Photo Credit: EPA / Jim Lo Scalzo

The Trump administration announced Friday it would suspend one of the last big nuclear arms control agreements with Russia — the latest in a series of withdrawals and threatened withdrawals of its kind.

Clashes over the Russians' alleged violations of the Reagan-era Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty long preceded Donald Trump's presidency. 

“We can no longer be restricted by the treaty while Russia shamelessly violates it,’’ said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, giving the Kremlin a six-month ultimatum for destroying intermediate-range missiles.

Late last year U.S. officials negotiated new terms for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). "I will be formally terminating NAFTA shortly,” he said in early December.

That action still awaits the required congressional approval. Democrats now in charge of the House are discussing alterations in the arrangements Trump’s  team negotiated with Mexico and Canada.

In that respect NAFTA changes resemble Obamacare changes. The Affordable Care Act has not been repealed in its entirety but the key "individual mandate" has been repealed. No replacement has been enacted.

Trump in 2017 announced the U.S. departure from the Paris climate agreement. He condemned the "nonbinding Paris accord" for its "draconian financial and economic burdens" without much explanation. Since then, other governments and states and institutions have vowed to keep abiding by the goal of restricting emissions.

Nor is departure from the Iran nuclear deal a finished product. European leaders plan to continue doing business with the rogue regime in a way they claim might not violate U.S. sanctions policy. Despite Trump suggestions to the contrary, U.S. intelligence aides testified last week that Iran is not carrying out key activities needed to produce a nuclear bomb.

In September 2017, the Justice Department said it would accept no more Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. "We will resolve the DACA issue with heart and compassion — but through the lawful democratic process," Trump vowed.

Court fights and Congressional noise have followed  without a DACA resolution.

Trump groused about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization being obsolete and too expensive to the United States. He has repeatedly threatened an American withdrawal. The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill reiterating strong congressional support for NATO.

Time after time the administration makes clear the urge to nullify. Improvements that  would follow these cancellations remain a work in progress.

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