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Donald Trump will withdraw from Asian trade deal

President-elect Donald Trump on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, outlined his plan for "putting America first" in his first 100 days in office. Credit: YouTube / Transition 2017

President-elect Donald Trump on Monday said he would issue a series of executive orders in his first 100 days in office to abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade deal and remove restrictions on the coal and shale energy industries.

Another order will direct the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate visa abuses.

However, Trump did not mention other signature campaign planks including constructing a wall along the Mexican border, repealing Obamacare and deporting illegal immigrants with criminal records.

“My agenda will be based on a simple core principle — putting America first,” Trump said in a nearly three-minute video released by his transition team Monday evening and posted on YouTube.

Trump said he plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, calling the trade agreement with 12 other nations, including Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Canada and Mexico, “a potential disaster for our country.”

“Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back onto American shores,” Trump said.

The trade agreement emerged as a flash point in the 2016 presidential race — supported by President Barack Obama, but criticized by former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Sanders supporters said the deal was created to protect the interests of multinational corporations, not workers. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton initially supported the deal, then came out against it after capturing Sanders’ endorsement and the Democratic nomination.

Trump had touted many of the initiatives he released Monday during the presidential campaign.

Trump said he will direct the Department of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “to develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks and all other form of attacks.”

Another executive order will mandate that the labor department “investigate all abuses of visa programs,” Trump said.

Others will impose a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists after they leave the administration and institute a lifetime ban on executive officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

Trump also said he will “formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation,” introduced by federal lawmakers and agencies, “two old regulations must be eliminated.”

Presidential executive orders do not require congressional approval.

Earlier Monday, Trump resumed meeting with prospective Cabinet members at Trump Tower in Manhattan. Among them were former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

Speaking to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower after his meeting with Trump, Brown said he was interested in heading the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I think the toughest job in the cabinet is to lead the VA,” said Brown, who previously served in the U.S. Army National Guard. “While it has so many angels working there, it has so many great problems as well.”

Trump’s former campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News that Perry, a two-time GOP presidential candidate, is under consideration for the posts of Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy.

Trump also met Monday with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), an Iraq War veteran who was a vocal supporter of Sanders’ presidential bid.

In a statement posted online, Gabbard said she met with Trump at his invitation to discuss foreign policy issues including a measure she has introduced calling for the United States to halt efforts to remove Syrian President Bashar al Assad from power.

“I felt it important to take the opportunity to meet with the president-elect now before the drumbeats of war that neocons have been beating drag us into an escalation of the war to overthrow the Syrian government,” Gabbard said.

Asked about reports that Gabbard was under consideration for the role of UN ambassador, Trump spokesman Jason Miller told reporters, “she obviously has a very distinguished track record.” Miller said it was too early to comment on whether Gabbard was being vetted for a role in the Trump administration.

Also making their way through the revolving doors of Trump Tower were Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who served in the administration of President George W. Bush, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who transition aides said is under consideration to lead the Interior Department.

Trump, who has not held a news conference since July, also met privately with the heads and anchors of several major networks including CNN president Jeff Zucker, MSNBC president Phil Griffith and NBC News president Deborah Turness.

Conway told reporters Trump would follow up in the coming days by meeting with representatives of major newspapers and other news outlets that have raised concerns about Trump’s reluctance to institute a “protective pool” to cover his daily movements. Such pools traditionally have been allowed by incoming presidents.

Trump is expected to spend Thanksgiving Day at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach County, Florida.; Vice President-elect Mike Pence will spend the day in Mississippi where his son, a U.S. Marine, is stationed, Miller said.


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