Biden Ends Transgender Troop Ban in Boost for Military Equality

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Joe Biden has reversed a Trump administration ban on transgender people serving openly in the military.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden proposed a Buy American plan that called for a $400 billion, four-year increase in government purchasing of USA -made products and services.

It continues, "This question of how to enable all qualified Americans to serve in the military is easily answered by recognizing our core values".

But the fact that any president can decide whether transgender people can serve in the military is problematic, advocates said.

The order says: "America is stronger, at home and around the world, when it is inclusive".

"What I'm doing is enabling all qualified Americans to serve their country in uniform", Biden said.

"It's based on his view that we are making things in America and all of America is core to our economic strategy", the official said, adding that the order is part of a broader effort to "strengthen supply chains" and "modernize global trade rules".

Newly appointed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he fully supported Biden's order.

Additionally, the order reiterates the president's support for the Jones Act and its mandate that only US -flag vessels carry cargo between USA ports, which supports American production and workers.

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During his Senate hearing on 19 January, Austin - who will become the first Black defence secretary in U.S. history - said that he supports trans people being in the military.

Trump first announced the transgender military ban in 2017.

The Supreme Court allowed Trump's transgender military ban to go into effect in January 2019. But new transgender troops were barred.

A 2016 assessment by the RAND Corporation estimated around 2,450 transgender active military personnel out of approximately 1.3 million members.

The White House said on Monday local time it was taking steps to resume efforts to put Harriet Tubman, a black woman who escaped slavery and became a leader of the pre-Civil War abolitionist movement, on the $20 bill, a project that had been significantly delayed under Donald Trump.

Trump chose to nix a plan implemented by former President Barack Obama for the military to start accepting transgender recruits.

"Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and can not be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail", he wrote. The policy specifies individuals without the condition can serve, but only if they do so according to the sex they were assigned at birth.

The policy, later officially released by then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis in 2018, blocks individuals who have been diagnosed with a condition known as gender dysphoria from serving with limited exceptions.

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