US President Donald Trump called on Congress to reject "the politics of revenge, resistance and retribution" as he faced a divided hall for his State of the Union speech.
Feb.6 (DP.net).– The US President declared before Congress that it was time “to bridge old divisions, heal old wounds, build new coalitions, forge new solutions and unlock the extraordinary promise of America's future".
Mr Trump spoke at a critical moment in his presidency, staring down a two-year stretch that will determine whether he is re-elected or leaves office in defeat, facing at this point a low popularity rating of 43%.
But what did we learn from the speech on Tuesday night? Let us see five key talking points from Mr Trump’s major address delivered to the nation:
- North Korea summit
Mr Trump used his State of the Union address to announce he will hold a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam this month.
The US leader said his outreach to Kim and their first meeting last June in Singapore opened a path to peace. "As part of a bold new diplomacy, we continue our historic push for peace on the Korean Peninsula," the president said. "Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one," he added while announcing their second meeting on February 27 and 28 in Vietnam.
- The wall on the South Border
Wary of publicly highlighting those intra-party divisions, with Democrats refusing to negotiate its construction, Mr Trump made no mention of any "national emergency" declaration in his remarks, but he did offer a lengthy defence of his call for a border wall. He delivered no ultimatums about what he might do if no legislation is approved to keep the government open.
"I am asking you to defend our very dangerous southern border out of love and devotion to our fellow citizens and to our country," he said. "In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built."
- Promise to tackle spread of HIV
The president used his speech to launch a campaign to end the HIV epidemic in the United States by 2030, targeting areas where new infections happen and getting highly effective drugs to people at risk. "Together, we will defeat AIDS in America and beyond," Mr Trump said. He pledged funding in his upcoming budget.
- Trade with China
Mr Trump said a trade deal with China must address the “chronic” US trade deficit and also a change in Chinese policies to protect American businesses and workers.
In his speech, the US President said: “I have great respect for President Xi, and we are now working on a new trade deal with China” ... “but it must include real, structural change to end unfair trade practices, reduce our chronic trade deficit, and protect American jobs.” And he added: “We are now making it clear to China that after years of targeting our industries, and stealing our intellectual property, the theft of American jobs and wealth has come to an end,”
- 'Ridiculous' investigations
During his 82-minute speech, the US President called for an end to the investigations that have clouded his first two years in office.
Trump said the investigations, led by special counsel Robert Mueller and several congressional committees, were preventing the nation from coming together. "An economic miracle is taking place in the United States – and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous partisan investigations," the President said.