After hosting a meeting with small business leaders in the Oval Office on Jan. 30, President Donald Trump followed through on a promise to reduce regulations by signing an executive order that would remove two regulations for each new regulation enacted.
The executive order directs any executive department or agency proposing a regulation to also identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. The order also incorporates a budgeting component, requiring any new incremental costs associated with new regulations to be offset by cost savings from eliminated rules for a total regulatory budget increase of zero for the fiscal year 2017.
Trump made the announcement in a meeting with nine small business leaders. He blamed regulations for creating "unfairness between small and big businesses," arguing that small businesses cannot afford the costs of compliance with any new regulations.
"We are going to simplify, reduce, eliminate regulations," Trump said. "We're doing that for big businesses, too, by the way."
Trump offered little detail on exactly how the two-for-one reduction in regulations will be enforced.
"There will be regulation, there will be control but it will be a normalized control where you can open your business, expand your business very easily," Trump said while signing the executive order.
The reduction was originally mentioned on the campaign trail, during which Trump criticized regulations on the energy, environmental, financial and housing sectors. While the administration has not stated intentions to target specific regulations, Trump has called out energy as an industry particularly hurt by regulations like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan. Key to Trump's economic promises is a plan to revive the coal industry, which he touted as an "energy revolution" that he would use to pay off the national debt.
The only direct piece of legislation Trump referred to in his meeting today was the Dodd-Frank Act, the landmark post-financial crisis bill that tried to crack down on Wall Street banks. Trump promised to do "a big number" on Dodd-Frank, without describing whether or not that would be a wholesale repeal.
Trump's regulatory rollback could also have implications on the healthcare sector, where regulatory agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are continuing to grapple with how to regulate biopharmaceuticals and other sectors.
"The American dream is back," Trump told the small business leaders.