By Isaac Cohen*
The rejection of the health bill in the US House of Representatives, last week, confirmed the persistence of fractures within the Republican Party, impossible to overcome even by a Republican White House. After blaming the Democrats, just before the Sunday TV talk shows, President Donald Trump tweeted the Democrats were “smiling,” thanks to “the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club for Growth and Heritage,” three organizations from the Republican Party far-right wing. Furthermore, White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus followed up declaring in Fox News “the President is not going to be a partisan President…”
Looking ahead, the next major initiative is the promised tax reform, which Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, said will be “a lot simpler.” True, in principle, lowering taxes enjoys wide support, before the specifics of the reform are known. Some of the proposed measures are controversial, such as the border adjustment tax against imports, but not on exports, or if the tax reduction will benefit the middle class, or the 1 percent.
Finally, another “fracture” within the White House was identified on the protectionist trade agenda. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, the major federation of 55 trade unions, representative of 12.5 million workers, said in the Wall Street Journal on March 23, 2017, “there are two wings in the White House… a Wall Street Wing and a. Trump-Agenda Wing.” The President’s agenda aims to protect US jobs against unfair foreign competition, while the Wall Street Wing is seen as slowing down the implementation of the presidential agenda.
*International analyst and consultant. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, UNIVISION, TELEMUNDO and other media. Former Director, UNECLAC Washington.