Trump signs defence policy bill with watered-down China measures

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2018

After the bill-signing Trump made a reference to McCain at a political fundraiser in Utica, New York, criticising him - as he does repeatedly - for voting against a bill to repeal parts of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare reform law a year ago. "We will replace aging tents, aging planes, and ships with the most advanced and lethal technology every developed".

And just hours after signing the military spending bill Monday, he did the same thing at a fundraiser in upstate NY. More recently, McCain issued a statement critical of Trump's Helsinki summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

US will strengthen military "like never ever before", says US President Donald Trump after signing a $716 billion defence policy bill that also temporarily halts sale of F-35 fighter jets to Turkey.

Besides setting policy and spending levels, the bill weakens a bid to clamp down on Chinese telecom company ZTE.

"The National Defense Authorization Act is the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in modern history, and I'm very proud to be a big, big part of it", Trump told the soldiers in his first trip to Upstate New York as president.

The NDDA authorizes $21.9 billion for nuclear weapons programs under the Energy Department, and another $69 billion to fund USA war efforts under the Overseas Contingency Operations account. The bill provides no money for Trump's requested Space Force but authorizes the military parade he wants in Washington in November.

The compromise bill removes a provision reinstating penalties against ZTE and restricting the company's ability to buy US component parts.

The measure also addresses child-on-child sexual assault at USA military bases worldwide.

Trump warned in May that the ban was causing heavy job losses in China, and the Commerce Department reached a deal to lift the ban in June, allowing business with USA companies to resume. Trump has spoken warmly of Arpaio for years, and last year he pardoned the former lawman after he was convicted of criminal contempt related to civil rights violations by his department directed toward immigrants. McCain, R-Ariz., whose name is on the bill, but has mostly been absent from Congress while undergoing treatment for brain cancer. "You know, the decorated war hero who was a prisoner of war and continues to serve as a United States senator, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee".

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