No Real Shift in Trade Policy: Trump’s campaign-trail opposition to major trade deals was a significant departure from conservative dogma. One of his first actions was to pull the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But that was a purely symbolic action, as Congress had never ratified the deal and members of both parties had soured on it. Trump has not pulled the U.S. out of the North American Free Trade Agreement or imposed tariffs on imports. When he briefly floated a 20 percent Mexican-import tax, Republicans swiftly condemned it, and his administration quickly disowned the idea. Congressional Republicans have been working on a border-adjustment tax proposal that they say would accomplish something similar, but Trump has yet to get firmly behind it—and it, too, appears to be on the rocks due to opposition from business.
Immigration Actions Less Than Meets the Eye: Trump’s hard line against immigration broke with the GOP’s business wing. His administration has intimidated the undocumented with deportations and raids that have created a climate of fear. But the actual number of deportations is small. Meanwhile, Trump has yet to roll back Obama’s protections for the young immigrant “Dreamers,” frustrating some immigration hawks. He has ordered the Mexican border wall be built, but Congress has yet to fund it, and Mexico is still refusing to pay for it.
A Muslim Ban Dialed Back: Despite promising in no uncertain terms to temporarily ban all Muslim immigrants, an arguably constitutional measure, Trump instead ordered a rushed and ham-handed ban on travelers from certain Muslim countries. When the ban was shot down by the courts, Trump rescinded it, and the refined ban that was supposed to replace it has been delayed, in part because his own intelligence community won’t supply evidence for it. Meanwhile, Trump’s new national-security adviser, H.R. McMaster, dislikes the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”