Aug 24, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign releases second-term agenda

Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Trump campaign on Sunday released a 49-point wishlist for President Trump's second term on the eve of the Republican National Convention.

Why it matters: It comes after Trump has repeatedly struggled to detail what his second term might look like, which has both frustrated and worried top Republicans and left critics questioning whether he even had an agenda.

  • The campaign, and Trump himself, plans to promote this agenda, which focuses heavily on ending America's reliance on China and promises a coronavirus vaccine by the end of 2020, throughout the convention.
  • A key criticism of the Democratic National Convention last week is that the Biden campaign failed to substantively lay out the policies Joe Biden would implement if president. Instead, the convention focused heavily on Biden's character.
  • The Trump campaign plans to draw a sharp contrast with that approach, focusing on how these policies could shape America.

The big picture: The document lays out 10 broad priorities that Trump will focus on if re-elected, but it fails to detail any specifics — making it read more like a wishlist.

  • Worth noting: Trump would need a Congress willing to pass these policy objectives.

Health care and coronavirus:

  • Lower prescription drug prices and insurance premiums.
  • End surprise billing.
  • Develop a vaccine by the end of 2020.
  • Make all critical medical supplies and treatments in the U.S.
  • Stockpile for future pandemics.

Our thought bubble, via Axios managing editor David Nather: Making a coronavirus vaccine a campaign promise won’t do anything to ease concerns about the political pressures on the scientists and public health officials who have to make sure it works.

  • Plus, a big promise from Trump's first campaign that's missing this time around is repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. There is a promise to "Cover All Pre-Existing Conditions" — which wouldn’t be necessary if he wasn’t supporting a lawsuit to overturn the law.


  • A push to create 10 million new jobs in 10 months, including 1 million new small businesses.
  • Cut taxes, and create a "Made in America" tax credit.
  • Expand opportunity zones.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Dan Primack: Even if Trump achieves his goals, the U.S. would still be well below where we were in February before the coronavirus pandemic.


  • Create tax credits for companies that shift operations from China to the U.S.
  • Allow expensing deductions for essential industries, like pharmaceuticals and robotics, that bring their manufacturing to the U.S.
  • No federal contracts for companies who outsource to China.


  • Provide school choice to every child in America.

"Drain the swamp":

  • Pass congressional term limits.
  • "Expose Washington’s money trail and delegate powers."

"Defend our police":

  • Fully fund and hire more police and law enforcement officers.
  • Increase criminal penalties for assault on officers.
  • "Bring violent extremist groups like ANTIFA to justice."
  • End cashless bail.


  • Block undocumented immigrants from becoming eligible for welfare and health care benefits.
  • Mandatory deportation for non-citizen gang members.
  • End sanctuary cities .
  • "Require new immigrants" to support themselves financially.


  • Establish a permanent manned presence on the Moon, and send the first manned mission to Mars .
  • Focus on 5G and establish a national high-speed wireless internet network.
  • Partner with other nations to clean up oceans.

"America First" foreign policy:

  • Bring troops home.
  • "Get allies to pay their fair share."
  • Build a cybersecurity and missile defense system

Worth noting: Trump promised to end foreign wars and bring troops home while on the campaign trail in 2016, but thousands of U.S. troops still remain in the Middle East.

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