There are a variety of think tanks in the Washington, DC area hoping to influence both lawmakers and the general conversation around the government. One of the most prominent, particularly in terms of right wing methodology, is the American Enterprise Institute. The AEI has already begun discussing and publishing suggestions for the new Trump administration and its work both in the US and abroad.
The AEI, whose board includes Marc Lipschultz, Tully Friedman, and Dick Cheney, was formed in 1938 with the stated mission “to defend the principles and improve the institutions of American freedom and democratic capitalism—limited government, private enterprise, individual liberty and responsibility, vigilant and effective defense and foreign policies, political accountability, and open debate.”
So what does the AEI recommend for President Trump? In fact, they’ve put together a variety of articles addressing issues they feel Trump is likely to face during his presidency, including relations with Asia, energy policy, healthcare reform, unrest in Iran, and terrorism:
- Acknowledging Trump’s uncertainty about the longstanding “One China” policy to which the US adheres, the AEI suggests paying close attention to the nuances involved in our relationships with Beijing and Taiwan.
- Energy policy is met with a variety of opinions from AEI scholars. Some are in favor of a potential carbon tax, while others are opposed. Meanwhile the discussions around fracking and crude oil exports continue.
- Similar to many right wing Republicans, the AEI advises Trump to dismantle the Affordable Care Act—but not without a solid alternative plan that includes reworking Medicaid and Medicare as well as strengthening Health Savings Accounts.
- Where Iran is concerned, the AEI counsels against completely eradicating the Iran deal, despite Trump’s previously expressed low opinion of it.
- Trump has stated that ISIS is his #1 priority when it comes to combating terrorism. The AEI suggests a variety of counter-terrorism tactics to deal with troubles in both Iran and Syria.
The coming days will tell whether or not Trump’s policies are at all aligned with the recommendations of the AEI. Regardless, the AEI and similar Washington, DC think tanks will continue the debates and do their best to get the facts—and opinions—to both lawmakers and the broader public.