Trump Reduces National Monuments
December 05, 2017
Trump reduces two Utah national monuments; Supreme Court allows travel ban to go into effect; The US trade deficit reaches 9 month high.
- Trump reduces two Utah national monuments. President Trump on Monday signed an executive order to shrink two massive monuments in Utah, Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, which were declared protected lands by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. The Bears Ears Monument was reduced by 84% and the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument was reduced by over half, representing the largest decrease in a national monument’s land in US history. The change in designation opens up the lands to use for mining, drilling and grazing, and is in line with what conservatives, state leaders and industry have asked for in the Southern portion of Utah state. The Bears Ears monument has long been considered sacred land for Navajo nation, who have already sued the federal government for removing those land protections. [The Hill]
- Supreme Court allows travel ban to go into effect. The third iteration of the President’s beleaguered travel ban scored a major victory at the US Supreme Court Monday afternoon, when seven of nine justices declined to issue a stay on the ban. The ban prevents the issuance of visas to the US in eight countries, six of which are majority Muslim, and is in effect even for those with a “bona fide” relationship to the US. This decision is seen as a departure from the Court’s position in the summer, where a majority of justices voted to exempt those with such connections from the ban. The countries the ban targets are Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, North Korea and Venezuela. [Politico]
Economic Indicators & News
- The US trade deficit reaches 9 month high. The trade deficit for this past month beat economists’ estimates and reached a 9-month high, at $65.3bn, an almost 9 point increase from the previous month. The deficit will likely be a drag on GDP unless it shrinks in the coming months. The trade deficit has been a political football this past year, as President Trump has blamed it, and global trade more generally, for the loss of US manufacturing jobs. This news comes at a time when NAFTA talks have stalled, with Mexico’s refusal to agree to the US proposal of increasing the portion of vehicles which must be made in the US to 50%. [Reuters]