After he already warned federal regulators to be prepared to eliminate two regulations for every new one they propose, President Trump on Friday launched a full-scale hunt to identify and remove unneeded federal rules and requirements that hinder business.
Estimating that the 3,000 new regulations imposed on American business by the Obama administration have cost of $873 billion, Trump on Friday signed an executive order that calls on all executive agencies to form a task force to examine their regulations.
He was flanked by about a dozen CEOs of major corporations as he signed the order in the White House.
Leaders of 3M, Lockheed-Martin, Dow Chemical, Archer Daniels Midland and International Paper were among those on hand.
Trump explained: “Excessive regulations are killing jobs, driving companies out of our country like never before. … Today this executive order directs each agency to establish a regulatory reform task force. It will ensure that every agency has a team of dedicated people to research all regulations that are unnecessary, burdensome and harmful to the economy, and harmful to the creation of jobs and business.”
He said the experts will “make recommendations to repeal or simplify existing regulations.”
Progress reports will be required “so we can come up with some even better solutions.”
“This executive order is one of many ways we’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job killing regulations and increasing economic opportunity,” he said. “Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers. If the answer is ‘no,’ if the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly.”
The White House announcement said regulations have “grown unchecked” in recent years.
“The regulations from the last administration cost American taxpayers $873 billion in total,” the statement said. “The Obama administration finalized more than 3,000 regulations.”
Trump said the objective is to “stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States.”
“It’s going to be absolutely just the opposite. They’re going to be incentivized to do business in the United States,” he promised. “We’re working very hard to roll back the regulatory burden so that coal miners, factory workers, small business owners and so many others can grow their businesses and thrive. We cannot allow government to be an obstacle to government opportunity.”
In January, he imposed a requirement that agencies cut two existing regulations for every new rule they introduce.
At the time, he said, “There will be regulation, there will be control, but it will be normalized control.”
Even before he became president, his team eyed the burden of regulations. Obama complained of Trump’s goal and threatened that it would not be so “easy.”
While a candidate, Trump estimated that 70 percent of federal agency rules were unnecessary or extraneous.
On Friday, he also ordered that federal agencies minimize the burdens on American taxpayers created by Obamacare and signed legislation intended to streamline work for American mining and energy companies.