Abortion, trade...

Abortion, trade...

One of the first ways a new president is able to exercise political power is through unilateral executive orders.

While legislative efforts take time, a swipe of the pen from the White House can often enact broad changes in government policy and practice.

President Donald Trump has wasted little time in taking advantage of this privilege.

Given his predecessor's reliance on executive orders to circumvent Congress in the later days of his presidency, he has a broad range of areas in which to flex his muscle.

Here's a look at some of what Mr Trump has done so far:


What's called the Mexico City policy, first implemented in 1984 under Republican President Ronald Reagan, prevents foreign non-governmental organisations that receive any US cash from "providing counselling or referrals for abortion or advocating for access to abortion services in their country".

The ban, derided as a "global gag rule" by its critics, has been the subject of a political tug-of-war ever since its inception, with every Democratic president rescinding the measure, and every Republican bringing it back.

Anti-abortion activists expected Mr Trump to act quickly on this - and he didn't disappoint them.

Abortion, trade...

Abortion, trade...

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, once viewed as the crown jewel of Barack Obama's international trade policy, was a regular punching bag for Mr Trump on the campaign trail (although he at times seemed uncertain about what nations were actually involved).

The deal was never approved by Congress so it had yet to go into effect in the US.

Therefore the formal "withdrawal" is more akin to a decision on the part of the US to end ongoing international negotiations and let the deal wither and die.



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