The U.S. Treasury Department (“Treasury”) issued a report listing its regulatory reform accomplishments. In the report, Treasury outlined the steps it had taken to execute Treasury-specific orders issued by President Trump, which include Executive Order 13777 (“Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda”) and Executive Order 13771 (“Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs”). Since the release of E.O. 13777, Treasury:
- reduced regulatory costs by (i) withdrawing 62 items from its Regulatory Agenda and (ii) moving 50 rules from active to long-term status;
- proposed rulemakings to remove 298 duplicative, obsolete or unnecessarily burdensome tax regulations;
- recommended the “reform or withdrawal of recent significant IRS regulations” in an October 2017 report;
- urged the U.S. financial regulatory system (in a series of reports) to make the regulation of banks and credit unions, capital markets, and asset management and insurance more effective and precise;
- pushed for the Financial Stability Oversight Council to implement reforms to prior designated non-bank financial companies as systemically significant; and
- published a “critical evaluation” of the ban by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on arbitration clauses in financial contracts, which would have cost businesses and consumers billions before it was nullified by a Congressional Review Act resolution.
Lofchie Comment: Leaving aside the quality or benefit of individual regulations issued during the prior administration – an issue that can be fiercely debated – the sheer volume of new requirements was simply overwhelming to the markets. Keeping up with rulemaking became a major business; often more important than doing business. Respite is welcome.