Repost from RegBlog. Unraveling Trump’s “Two-for-One” Regulatory Reform Plan

by Adeline Rolnick. Original source: RegBlog

Regulatory reform is on the agenda for President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office. At the forefront is Trump’s recent vow to institute a policy which would require two regulations to be repealed for every new regulation issued—a so-called two-for-one system.

Although Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Netherlands have adopted regulatory offset programs like the kind Trump has proposed, it is unclear how, exactly, a similar system could be implemented in the United States. As Cass Sunstein of Harvard Law School recently remarked, the idea of a one-in-two-out system has “rhetorical appeal, but it’s going to be extremely hard to pull off.”
Which regulations would need to be offset, and how would offsets be calculated? A recent working paper by Marcus Peacock, of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Centersheds some light on these questions by discussing the kinds of options Trump will need to consider before adopting such a system.

One of the first questions Trump will have to answer is which regulations will need to be offset. Peacock notesthat there are different ways to define a “new regulation.” It could be defined either broadly—as any “revised agency guidance or enforcement policies”—or narrowly, to include only rules that impact the economy by a specified amount. Another option would be to categorically exempt certain types of regulations. The United Kingdom, for example, exempts regulations that “have only an indirect impact on business; implement international commitments; address civil emergencies (such as the outbreak of a disease); or address systemic financial risk.”

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