Trump Makes Last Appeal for Wall Funding in State of Union Address
Wednesday, 6 February 2019 16:37 WIB | GLOBAL |Global

President Donald Trump used the State of the Union address Tuesday night to make a final push for a wall along the southern U.S. border, just days ahead of what he has warned could be another government shutdown.

"I will get it built," vowed Trump, promising a "smart, strategic, see-through steel barrier." But he stopped short of declaring a national emergency to obtain funds to build the wall.

Trump, who made a border wall one of his signature campaign promises, spent much of his speech on dangers at the border with Mexico.

"As we speak, large, organized caravans are on the march to the United States," Trump said, referring to the group of migrant men, women and children as a "tremendous onslaught."

Strong economy

As Trump begins his third year as president, he has presided over a quickly growing economy. The U.S. economy added 2.6 million jobs in 2018, the highest figure since 2015. As of January, the unemployment rate stands at just 4 percent.

"We are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world -- not even close," Trump said.

Trade

Trump, however, is digging in on trade.

To build on U.S. economic success, Trump will say that "one priority is paramount: reversing decades of calamitous trade policies."

Trump has promised to massively increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods if the two sides cannot reach an agreement by March 1.

The White House is also considering imposing tariffs of up to 25 percent on imports of automobiles and car parts.

North Korea

Foreign policy, including Trump's talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, was a heavy focus of the speech.

Trump announced a venue and date for his upcoming second summit with Kim -- Feb. 27 and 28 in Vietnam.

"Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one," Trump said.

Afghanistan, Syria

Trump also addressed U.S. peace talks with the Taliban.

Last month, U.S. officials announced progress on a framework deal under which the U.S. would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban promises that the country would not be used by terrorists.

Venezuela

Trump also reiterated U.S. support for Venezuela's interim president, Juan Guaido, the head of the opposition-led National Assembly who declared himself interim president last month.

"We stand with the Venezuelan people in their noble quest for freedom," Trump said.

Source : VOA

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