Factbox: Build a giant wall, cut Education Department. What a President Trump would do

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2016 4:53 PM

(Reuters) - Presidential candidate Donald Trump has been accused by some in his Republican Party of being vague on policy specifics and heavy on rhetoric.

Here is a look at what the billionaire businessman, the front-runner for the Republican nomination, has said he would do on some of the big issues should he become the nominee and go on to win the Nov. 8 election. The policies are drawn from a review of his website, stump speeches, debates, town halls and televised interviews.

TRADE

Trump has complained that China, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam and India are "ripping us off" by devaluing their currencies and keeping out some U.S. exports.

He would not sign the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact and would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada.

He has said he favors reaching trade agreements with individual countries as opposed to multilateral accords like the TPP.

He would designate China a currency manipulator and impose countervailing duties on its exports. He also wants to pursue a World Trade Organization case on Chinese government programs that subsidize exporters.

Trump has said he would put activist investor Carl Icahn in charge of negotiating a better trade relationship with China. Icahn has said he is happy to advise Trump, but would not seek a formal position if Trump was elected.

Trump has said the United States should raise tariffs on foreign-made goods in response to reductions in interest rates by European Union nations and other countries, which he says could hurt manufacturing jobs at home.

Trump has also said he would slap 35 percent tariffs on air conditioners made in Mexico by United Technologies Corp's Carrier after the company decided to move production there from Indiana, and on Ford Motor Corp vehicles made in Mexico that are sold in the United States.

TAXES

Trump has pledged to cut and simplify taxes. Individuals making less than $25,000 per year and married filers earning less than $50,000 would not pay income tax.

There would be three other tax brackets, down from seven currently, with a top marginal income tax rate of 25 percent, and a top rate for long-term capital gains and dividends of 20 percent.

The current top marginal income tax rate is 39.6 percent and the current top rate for long-term capital gains is 20 percent.

Deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest would remain unchanged. Other deductions would be trimmed in the highest tax brackets.

He would eliminate the alternative minimum tax, the estate tax, and the carried interest tax break that allows investment fund managers and some hedge fund managers to treat income as capital gains.

The corporate tax rate would be cut to 15 percent, down from the current level of 35 percent.

Trump would phase in a "reasonable cap" on deductions for business interest expenses and would cut other corporate loopholes.

Trump would impose a onetime 10 percent "deemed repatriation" tax on deferred corporate overseas profits and would end deferral of income from foreign subsidiaries.

Trump would also move quickly to stop corporate inversions, in which a U.S. company acquires an overseas firm and reduces its tax bill by reincorporating overseas. He has offered no specifics. He has criticized Republicans and Democrats for being unable to halt inversions, saying, "They can't make a deal because they don't have leadership."

The Tax Foundation, an independent policy research group, has said Trump's plan would cost more than $10 trillion over the next decade. His campaign has said the plan is fully paid for.

ECONOMY

Trump has pledged to get rid of the $19 trillion federal deficit by boosting jobs and cutting government waste, but he has not released a formal policy paper on how he would do this.

He has said he would not cut the Medicare and Medicaid healthcare programs for senior citizens and low-income Americans, nor Social Security retirement benefits.

He would eliminate the Education Department and the Environmental Protection Agency.

IMMIGRATION

Trump has promised to build a high wall at the U.S.-Mexico border to keep out illegal immigrants, which he has said would cost $10 billion to $12 billion.

Mexico would pay for the wall or face consequences, his campaign said. Trump would "impound" remittance payments to Mexico from undocumented workers, and increase visa and border crossing fees for Mexican workers, as well as visa fees for Mexican chief executives and diplomats. Applying tariffs on Mexican goods and cutting foreign aid are also "options," his campaign has said on his website.

He would deport the 11 million illegal immigrants living in America and end "birthright citizenship" for children born in the United States to illegal immigrants.

He has called for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and would not allow refugees from Syria.

Trump would triple the number of border agents and require all businesses to use the E-Verify database to ensure employees are in the country legally. He would increase penalties for overstaying visas and would complete a visa tracking system.

He would withhold federal funding from "sanctuary cities" that decline to help the federal government deport illegal immigrants.

Trump's campaign has also said he would "pause" new green cards and require employers to hire American workers first.

HEALTHCARE

Trump has said he would seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

He would still require insurers to provide coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions, a key feature of Obamacare.

He would allow prescription drugs to be imported and would turn the Medicaid program for the poor into block grants for the states. His plan also calls for full deduction of health insurance premiums from income tax.

He would move to allow insurance companies to sell plans across state lines to spur competition.

He would allow individuals to use tax-free Health Savings Accounts, which he says should be allowed to accumulate and be passed on to a person's heirs.

Currently, Health Savings Accounts, which were created as part of Obamacare, can be used only with high-deductible health plans. They are tax free and can accumulate and be rolled over into a retirement account when a person is ready for Medicare.

Trump has said he could save the government $300 billion by negotiating better prices with drug companies.

He would require price transparency from all healthcare providers, especially doctors and organizations like clinics and hospitals, to enable individuals to find the best prices for exams or other procedures.

ISLAMIC STATE

Trump has promised to "knock out" Islamic State quickly and said he is open to working with Russia to do so.

He has said he would consider putting 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops on the ground to defeat Islamic State militants and has vowed to complete the mission swiftly and bring troops home to focus on rebuilding the United States.

He has said he would "bomb the oil" that helps finance the insurgent group and stop the "back channels of banking" used by the group.

He has vowed to bring back the use of waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning and has been banned as torture under U.S. law. He said he also supports other, unspecified techniques "a hell of a lot worse" than waterboarding.

He has said he would not order the U.S. military to break international laws on how to treat terrorism suspects , but has also said he would seek to "have those laws broadened."

He would "take out" the family members of Islamic State militants and would like to shut down "areas" of the Internet to try to stop the group from recruiting members.

He wants to build a "safe zone" for Syrian refugees in Syria. But Gulf states would have to pay for it.

He has said the United States should first deal with Islamic State before addressing the future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying, "We have to do one thing at a time."

He has questioned whether the United States should back opposition groups in Syria, saying, "We have no idea who they are."

DEFENSE

Trump has said he would increase the size and power of the U.S. military to make it "so strong, so powerful that nobody's going to mess with us."

He says too much money is wasted buying equipment the military does not want.

He wants Japan, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia to bear more of the cost of military aid provided by the United States. "We can no longer defend all of these countries," he said, citing the deficit.

Trump would boost the U.S. military presence in the East and South China seas to "discourage Chinese adventurism," according to his website.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Ross Colvin, Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)