Friday 19 July 2019

Seven key takeaways from Trump's State of the Union address

President Donald Trump gestures as a conductor as people in the chamber sing
President Donald Trump gestures as a conductor as people in the chamber sing "Happy Birthday" to Judah Samet as he delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Same turned 81 on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi reacts alongside Vice President Mike Pence as he applauds US President Donald Trump during his second State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Richard Cowan

Donald Trump delivered an 82-minute State of the Union address to Congress focused heavily on US-Mexico border security, but providing few details on new policy initiatives.

Trump touched on a range of domestic and foreign policy issues. Here are some highlights of his speech:

1. Immigration

"Congress has 10 days left to pass a bill that will fund our government, protect our homeland and secure our very dangerous southern border."

"My administration has sent to Congress a common-sense proposal to end the crisis on the southern border."

"It includes humanitarian assistance, more law enforcement, drug detection at our ports, closing loopholes that enable child smuggling and plans for a new physical barrier, or wall, to secure the vast areas between our ports of entry.

"This is a smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier, not just a simple concrete wall. It will be deployed in the areas identified by the border agents as having the greatest need."

2. 'Partisan' investigations

"An economic miracle is taking place in the United States and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations."

 

3. Trade

"To build on our incredible economic success, one priority is paramount - reversing decades of calamitous trade policies."

"Tonight, I am also asking you to pass the United States Reciprocal Trade Act, so that if another country places an unfair tariff on an American product, we can charge them the exact same tariff on the same product that they sell to us."

4. Infrastructure

"Both parties should be able to unite for a great rebuilding of America's crumbling infrastructure."

"I know that the Congress is eager to pass an infrastructure bill and I am eager to work with you on legislation to deliver new and important infrastructure investment, including investments in the cutting-edge industries of the future. This is not an option. This is a necessity."

5. Healthcare

"The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs and to protect patients with pre-existing conditions."

"We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs way down."

"My budget will ask Democrats and Republicans to make the needed commitment to eliminate the HIV epidemic in the United States within 10 years. We have made incredible strides, incredible. Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond."

6. Foreign Policy

"In Afghanistan, my administration is holding constructive talks with a number of Afghan groups, including the Taliban. As we make progress in these negotiations, we will be able to reduce our troops' presence and focus on counter-terrorism and we will indeed focus on counter-terrorism. We do not know whether we will achieve an agreement but we do know that after two decades of war, the hour has come to at least try for peace. The other side would like to do the same thing. It's time."

"If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea. Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one. Chairman Kim and I will meet again on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam."

7. Abortion

"To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother's womb."

Reuters

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News