Monday, September 10, 2018
I am writing this fall about (among other things) business deregulation in the Trump era. Given that the President's campaign for office featured business deregulation as a prominent tenet, it seems like a good time to visit what's been done to fulfill those campaign promises. Business being a broad area for focus, I am trying to narrow the subject down a bit by picking some salient examples.
I reference the early executive orders on agency rule rulemaking and assessments of their success. See, e.g., here and here. But the deregulatory moves impacting business that have gotten the most media attention are the Trump administration's tax cuts and a few smaller initiatives--like the tamp-backs to parts of bank regulation in the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Apart from these headline items, what catches your attention, if anything, about the current administration's forays into deregulation? I would be interested in knowing.
Of course, there also are areas where it seems that there is new business regulation or business re-regulation rather than business deregulation. Perhaps the most prominent area in which the current administration has taken a non-deregulatory approach to business operation is in international trade. The reported outcome of recent trade talks with Mexico, for example, as well as the imposition of significant tariffs on Chinese imports earlier this year, have both been classified as contrary or counterproductive to a deregulatory agenda. See, e.g., here and here, respectively. Query whether and, if so, how these contrary or counterproductive measures should be weighed in any evaluation of business deregulatory success . . . .
And that's just it. Successful deregulation is somewhat in the eye of the beholder. No single reference point represents an established determinant or embodiment of deregulatory triumph. There are no standardized rules of the road governing the evaluation of efficacious deregulatory actions (taken individually or collectively). Thus, political and other biases often underlie reports of effective or ineffective deregulatory initiatives, just as they underlie reports of effective or ineffective regulatory initiatives, even though deregulatory impact may intuitively seem to be more capable of simple measurement and objective assessment.
I will be presenting a draft paper on business deregulation during the Trump administration at an upcoming symposium sponsored by the Mercer Law Review. The symposium, "Corporate Law in the Trump Era," will be held on October 5 at the Mercer University School of Law. I will have more to say on that essay in later posts, I am sure. But for now, I invite you to let me know what current areas of business deregulation interest you most. I would like to make my choices meaningful to the target audience for this essay, which likely includes many BLPB readers.