What Donald Trump Has Accomplished as President

On the cusp of the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden on Thursday night, many are expecting the records of both candidates to be raked over throughout the 90-minute head-to-head.

According to a list of topics announced by debate moderator Kristen Welker, Trump and Biden will be quizzed on race in America, climate change, American families, national security and leadership when they appear at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

It is also likely that topics not on the approved list will come up over the course of the showdown—particularly the coronavirus pandemic, the state of U.S. employment and Hunter Biden's business dealings.

President Trump will be eager to defend his record over the past four years, and could be expected to tout his supposed achievements on matters of foreign policy, job creation and other economic matters during the course of his first term in the White House.

Here are five of Trump's key accomplishments in the eyes of the administration, the president and his supporters.

Israel-UAE Peace Deal

The White House played host the signing of a historic, U.S.-brokered peace deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain last month, opening up opportunities for trade and travel between the nations.

Under the terms of the deal, officially known as the Abraham Accords, the signatories agreed to an exchange of ambassadors and embassies—placing further pressure on Iran's standing in the region.

Donald Trump Abraham Accords Ceremony
President Donald Trump speaks at the signing ceremony of the Abraham Accords on the South Lawn of the White House September 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong/Getty Images

Heralding the signing of the deal, President Trump argued that it would mark the beginning of "a new Middle East" and a break from the "failed approaches of the past" as Iran dubbed the move a "strategic mistake."

"Today's signing sets history on a new course," Trump said. "And there will be other countries very soon that will follow these great leaders."

Stock Market Rallies

On the domestic level, Wall Street and retail investors have benefited from major market rallies over the past four years, even after key indices took sharp tumbles in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak and pandemic shutdown measures.

Trump has repeatedly celebrated stock market maneuvres, portraying the shifts as good news for the wider economy, even as the civil unemployment rate has failed to make a similar recovery.

"The Economy is about ready to go through the roof. Stock Market ready to break ALL-TIME RECORD. 401k's incredible. New Jobs Record," Trump tweeted last week. "Remember all of this when you VOTE."

Since the president took office in January 2017, the U.S. three leading indices—the S&P 500, Nasdaq Composite and Dow Jones Industrial Average—have boomed by thousands of points.

At the start of the Trump presidency, the Nasdaq composite index hovered at around 5,500 points. Four years later and in the wake of a global economic crash, it stands at more than 11,500 points.

Tax Cuts and Reforms

Behind the stock market's boom over the past four years has been the Trump administration's drive to cut corporation tax with the stated aim of creating the "trickle-down" benefits of further job creation and improved household incomes.

Signing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law in 2017, Trump cut the top rate of corporation tax from 35 percent to 21 percent in a "simplification" plan. It was expected that major firms would make new investments and boost staff wages with the capital freed up by the change.

"Everything in here is really tremendous things for businesses, for people, for the middle class, for workers," Trump said at the time. "And I very much consider this a bill for the middle class and jobs."

But critics of the president's tax reforms have pointed out that many companies failed to pass on gains from the cuts to workers, and instead opted to plow more money into stock buybacks.

According to one study from the Americans for Tax Fairness group, only 4.3 percent of workers were expected to receive a one-time bonus or wage increase as a result of the major cut to corporation tax.

Replacing NAFTA with USMCA

Three years after he signed off the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Trump fulfilled a key promise of his 2016 election campaign by renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement and replacing it with a new deal.

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement was signed off in January this year after two years of negotiations between the three nations over a deal touching on $1 trillion of trade.

In typical fashion, the president called the bill the "best and most important trade deal" that had ever been made by the U.S., and argued that it would be "good for everybody" in the country.

The Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not quite match the president's praise for his own deal, but she did accept that the agreement was "much better than NAFTA" thanks in part to negotiations involving her party.

Beginning Border Wall Construction

Although Trump has failed to fully deliver on his campaign pledge to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of his wider anti-immigration agenda, construction has begun on the project.

Over the past four years, the president's administration has managed to build 360 miles of the border wall, adding to 354 miles of pedestrian barriers that already existed along the 1,933-mile border.

Trump has also used funding from other federal agencies to pay for the construction of the barrier, reneging on his stump promise to make Mexico pay for the wall.