Updated 7:19 AM ET, Tue September 29, 2020
In the wake of mass shootings throughout his presidency, Trump has vowed action on gun violence, including expanding background checks. But he has been vague on the details, and has repeatedly pointed to mental health and hate as the underlying issues. After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, Trump order the Department of Justice to ban bump stocks, attachments that effectively make semi-automatic rifles fire continuously. The ban became effective in March 2019. The President has backed “red flag” gun laws on the state level, which enable those who have seen warning signs to seek court orders to intervene and prevent someone who is in crisis from temporarily having access to firearms.
Trump, as President, has vowed to fix student loan debt. As directed by an executive order, the Department of Education published new data in November 2019 about graduates’ income and debt levels aimed at helping students make more informed borrowing decisions before choosing colleges. The White House has also made loan forgiveness automatic for veterans with disabilities and urged Congress to include place a cap on student loan borrowing. By contrast, it has repeatedly proposed ending a student loan forgiveness program for public workers, but Congress has rejected those efforts. The administration has pushed for a school choice tax credit known as “Education Freedom Scholarships,” which students could use to attend public or private schools, including charters, outside of their districts. It has rescinded a number of Obama-era policies, including those that promoted racial diversity in schools and protections for transgender students in public schools that let them use bathrooms and other facilities corresponding to their gender identities. It has also rolled back two rules that were intended to hold for-profit colleges accountable.
Trump has made a series of unpredictable moves on trade, including the imposition of tariffs against allies like the European Union. Trump has also engaged in a two-year trade war with China, imposing an escalating series of retaliatory tariffs that have hit American farmers, importers and manufacturers. He announced plans to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Agreement, an Obama-era trade deal among a number of countries, soon after taking office in 2017. Preferring bilateral deals, he signed a new trade pact with Japan in 2019 — but it was no better for American ranchers and farmers than the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have been. His administration also renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trade pact with Canada and Mexico. The countries have since agreed to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, but it is pending ratification by the US Congress.