Rally to protest Donald Trump’s climate change stance marks US president’s 100th day
President Trump poses for a photograph at the White House. Picture: Andrew Harnik/AP
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump’s 100th day in office has been marked by yet more protests, this time against his administration’s stance on climate change.
Thousands of protesters descended on the National Mall in Washington in sweltering heat on Saturday as part of more than 300 marches across the US.
US actor Leonardo DiCaprio marches with a group of indigenous people from North and South America, during the People’s Climate March in Washington DC. Picture: Jose Luis Magana/AFP
Participants in the Peoples’ Climate March say they are objecting to Trump’s rollback of restrictions on mining, oil drilling and greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants, among other things.
Celebrities taking part in the marches included The Good Wife actor Alan Cumming who posted an Instagram video from the DC event. Meanwhile, CNN reported that Leonardo DiCaprio was also at the Washington march but declined to be interviewed.
In Augusta, Maine, protesters outside the statehouse said they wanted to draw attention to the damage climate change can cause marginalised communities.
In Florida, multiple demonstrations were held in places such as Miami and Tampa, where marchers said they were concerned about the threat of rising sea levels.
People gather for a climate rally on Boston Common in Boston. Picture: Michael Dwyer/AP
In Boston, a crowd gathered in public park in downtown. Marchers carried signs with slogans such as “Dump Trump.”
Mr Trump, meanwhile, said on Saturday he had brought “profound change” to Washington in his first 100 days in charge, reaffirming that “my only allegiance” is to those he governs.
Demonstrators sit on the ground along Pennsylvania Ave in front of the White House during Saturday’s protest. Picture: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Source:AP
The self-congratulation continued on Twitter, with a quote from Fox News anchor Lou Dobbs praising the new president’s performance so far.
“.@LouDobbs just stated that “President Trump’s successes are unmatched in recent presidential history” Thank you Lou!” he tweeted.
Mainstream (FAKE) media refuses to state our long list of achievements, including 28 legislative signings, strong borders & great optimism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2017
Mr Trump also accused the media of failing to list the 28 legislative signings he has done since being president.
President Trump plans to hold a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP
During an evening trip to Pennsylvania on Saturday, one of the states that propelled his unlikely election victory, Mr Trump planned to sign an executive order directing the Commerce Department and the US trade representative to conduct a study of US trade agreements.
The goal is to determine whether America is being treated fairly by its trading partners and the 164-nation World Trade Organisation.
.@LouDobbs just stated that "President Trump’s successes are unmatched in recent presidential history" Thank you Lou!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2017
Mr Trump was scheduled to visit the Ames tool factory in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania, which has manufactured shovels since 1774, and then hold a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, the state capital.
Mr Trump announced this past week that he intended to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and begin reworking a trade deal with South Korea, with which the US has a significant trade deficit.
Mr Trump claims to have brought change to Washington. Picture: Saul Loeb/AFP
“There isn’t a day that goes by that the president doesn’t discuss some aspect of trade,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said at the White House on Friday. Early on in his tenure, Mr Trump used an executive order to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration.
“From the first day of my administration, I have governed by a simple idea: My only allegiance is to you, our wonderful citizens,” Mr Trump said in his weekly radio and internet address.
“Together we are seeing that great achievements are possible when we put American people first. That is why I withdrew the United States from the Trans- acific Partnership. That day was a turning point for our nation. It put the countries of this world on notice that the sellout of the American worker was over.”
Mr Trump looks out an Oval Office window at the White House. Picture: Andrew Harnik/AP
He said in his remarks: “In just 14 weeks, my administration has brought profound change to Washington.”
Executive orders in line to be signed on Saturday would be the 31st and 32nd since taking office — the most of any president in his first 100 days since World War II. During the campaign, Mr Trump railed against President Barack Obama’s use of the power, which has the benefit of not needing congressional approval. The more significant of the two orders would give the Commerce Department and the US Trade Representative 180 days to identify violations and abuses under US trade agreements and recommend solutions.
Mr Trump waves from Air Force One as he departs Atlanta on Friday. Picture: Jim Watson/AFP
Mr Ross said the WTO, the arbiter of world trade rules, was bureaucratic and outdated and needed an overhaul. Mr Ross played down the possibility that the United States would consider leaving the organisation but didn’t rule it out.
The administration argues that unfair competition with China and other trade partners has wiped out millions of US factory jobs. Mr Ross said dissatisfaction with trade policy is one reason voters turned to Mr Trump.