Media Releases

Bookmark and Share

ASBC Statement about the Trump Administration’s Deregulation Agenda:

For Immediate Release: 
October 2, 2017

“The Trump administration is taking a chainsaw to surgery, and in the process, is cutting the U.S. economy off at the knees.”

Contact Info
Bob Keener

Washington, DC ( October 2, 2017)—In advance of President Trump’s speech on Monday to preview the Administration’s Regulatory Agenda, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) released the following statement disputing the fundamental assumption that deregulation is needed to grow the economy. This may be attributed to Richard Eidlin, Co-founder and Vice President of Policy and Campaigns.

“The Trump Administration is wrong that the economy needs less regulation in order to grow.

Its deregulation campaign in the name of economic growth ignores how the economy really works. The approach is misleading, rife with exaggeration, and potentially devastating to the long-term sustainability of our economy.

“Over-regulation was not the problem that led to banks creating the mortgage crisis, that in turn resulted in the loss of 200,000 small businesses and 8.7 million jobs throughout the United States. Numerous businesses, whole sectors of the economy, and individual citizens should not be made to bear the costs of certain companies that make decisions based on short-term profits above all else.

“Regulations create certainty and a level playing field for all businesses. Uncertainty about a healthy environment, healthy employees, and or a healthy economy on the other hand, makes it difficult for businesses to invest in innovation and the future.

“The Trump Administration’s deregulation approach based on the arbitrary benchmark of eliminating ‘two existing regulations for every one new regulation’ is ill-conceived and will not achieve meaningful regulatory reform. Placing focus solely on the costs of compliance instead of the benefits to society contradicts the goals of many of the laws that enable these regulations.

“Most businesses agree that not all regulations are good, or well-crafted, or sensibly enforced. There are bad ones, and we need to fix them. But, the Trump administration is taking a chainsaw to surgery, and in the process, is cutting the U.S. economy off at the knees.”


The Office of Management and Budget has reported in the past that a decade of major federal rules produced annual benefits to the U.S. economy of between $193 billion and $800 billion, yet imposed aggregate costs of only 10-30 percent of that. Benefits of regulations include:

Regulations create jobs. In the electric power industry, regulations promote the use of wind and solar over coal. Dollar for dollar, wind and solar employ more than twice as many workers as coal and oil. Regulations protect one company or industry from killing others. Around Lake Erie, unregulated agricultural runoff creates toxic algae blooms that got bad enough to make Toledo's water undrinkable. Restaurants had to close. Homes and offices had to rely on bottled water.

Regulations protect consumers. Nationwide, failure to regulate for-profit colleges has put millions of Americans deep into debt for job training that turned out to be useless. Their lost earnings will impair the economy for decades.

Regulations protect shared resources. Without catch limits in commercial fisheries, most of our fishing areas would be barren by now, and our fisherman would be unemployed.

Regulations encourage innovation and increase competitiveness. The U.S. auto industry grew so complacent in the 1960s about reliability, fuel efficiency and safety standards that Japanese manufacturers were able to take tremendous market share. Government regulations involving seat belts, air bags, fuel standards, emissions and so-called lemons prodded the industry to get better, faster.

The American Sustainable Business Council advocates for policy change and informs business owners and the public about the need and opportunities for building a vibrant, sustainable economy. Through its national member network, it represents more than 250,000 business owners, executives and investors from a wide range of industries.