U.S. President Donald Trump (front) addresses the joint session of Congress, as Vice President Mike Pence (L) and House Speaker Paul Ryan listen, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, Feb. 28, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)
WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump rolled out his "America First" agenda in his first major speech since inauguration at a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night.
Despite Trump's bid to "deliver a message of unity and strength," reactions to his address are deeply divided if not as polarized as expected. Most Republican lawmakers and Trump's backers were in full support, while many Democrats and Trump protesters rebuked it.
"AMERICA FIRST" AGENDA
"America must put its own citizens first ... because only then, can we truly make American great again," Trump said in his speech, resonating his campaign theme.
Rolling out his "America First" agenda "guided by two core principles: Buy American and Hire American", Trump tried to paint "a new surge of optimism" by depicting what he has done since entering the White House and reiterating what he will do in the four-year presidency, most of them in line with his pledges during the campaign trail.
He vowed again that his administration will replace Obamacare "with better healthcare," build a wall along the border with Mexico, reduce taxes on U.S. companies, invest one trillion dollars to upgrade the country's "crumbling infrastructure," boost safety in inner cities, make child care accessible, introduce a merit-based immigration system to regulate new arrivals and reduce the flow of low-skilled workers into America.
The Trump administration will take strong actions against "radical Islamic terrorism" and work with U.S. allies to extinguish the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, he said.
"We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America - we cannot allow our Nation to become a sanctuary for extremists." Trump said.
The U.S. president confirmed he will "strongly support" NATO, though he once blasted it as "obsolete" before taking office, while calling on allies to "meet their financial obligations."
Meanwhile, he said he respects the right of all nations to chart their own path and has no intention to represent the world.
"My job is not to represent the world. My job is to represent the United States of America," Trump said.