Trump signs defense policy bill with watered-down China measures

President Donald Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act which authorizes a top-line budget of $717 billion.

The $716 billion defense bill, which is created to build up the military, is named after one of the president's most vocal critics, Republican Arizona Sen. Actually, Obama's first three defence budgets were larger when adjusted for inflation, according to Todd Harrison at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. President Trump signed it during a visit to Fort Drum in NY.

Fort Drum Army base is home to almost 20,000 active military members.

US President Donald Trump has restricted the delivery of 100 F-35 fighter jets to Turkey, exacerbating the strain between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies over Ankara's continued detention of an American pastor. McCain, R-Ariz., whose name is on the bill, but has mostly been absent from Congress while undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

The impact for government agencies and contractors who who now use Huawei and ZTE technology could be massive as it comes into effect over the next two years claim analysts.

Trump later made a reference to McCain at a political fundraiser in Utica, New York, knocking him - as Trump does repeatedly - for voting against a bill to repeal parts of President Barack Obamas signature healthcare reform law a year ago.

Although Trump himself never served in the military, he had the courage to attack McCain and his service.

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The bill prohibits the sale of F-35 to Turkey until the Pentagon publishes a report on Turkey-US relations in 90 days.

McCain, an Arizona senator and chairman of the Senate armed services committee has been a vocal critic of Trump.

"I've seen things that you don't even want to see", he said of intelligence about China's military.

According to the White House, the bill authorizes an increase of 15,600 troops, funding for 77 F-35 fighter jets and funding for 13 new battleships.

To curb the impacts, the U.S. government will providing funding to allow businesses to pay for the technology they must replace.

Trump later introduced Stefanik to the Army soldiers, mispronouncing her name, but praising her persistence in asking him to visit Fort Drum. McCain hours later in a speech at a NY fundraising event.

  • Sonia Alvarado