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Trump’s Executive Order Will Cut Deep Into Essential Public Protections

Trump’s Executive Order Will Cut Deep Into Essential Public Protections

Statement of Amit Narang, Regulatory Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: Today, President Donald Trump signed an executive order putting in place deregulatory task forces throughout the government.

With this latest executive order (EO), the Trump administration is doubling down on its dangerous anti-regulatory efforts and making clear that big business is in charge of our government. The EO will install Trump’s hand-picked deregulatory henchmen in agencies throughout our government and empower them to hack away at critical public protections.

The new EO serves the interests of big business, not the public interest or voters. These task forces are about carving out special favors for powerful corporations that already are sending the administration wish lists of public protections to repeal. The safeguards targeted by big business include the clean water rule, climate change measures, updates to overtime pay for millions of hardworking Americans, incentives to keep corporations from offshoring income to avoid paying taxes, disclosures of unequal pay based on gender, net neutrality, and much-need transparency on the gap between CEO and average worker pay.

Because every administration going back to President Ronald Reagan has conducted agency-wide retrospective reviews, the administration’s picture of widespread unnecessary regulation is simply wrong. Public health, safety, consumer and environmental safeguards are essential or need to be strengthened. By focusing on deregulation, Trump’s task forces threaten regulations that provide critical benefits and protections to American workers, consumers and families.

When it comes to regulation, the Trump administration has it exactly backwards. Instead of deregulating corporations, agencies should focus on identifying regulations that can be issued or strengthened to increase protection of public health and safety and consumers’ finances. The problem is not regulation, but automobile companies cheating on emissions tests, oil spills and pipeline leaks that endanger both human and animal life, lead-contaminated water in too many of our communities, and giant banks creating fake accounts to scam their customers. These and other real, existing problems faced by people throughout the country demonstrate the painful consequences of corporate influence over our government. Americans overwhelmingly back (PDF) tougher rules and greater enforcement.