'President Trump': A regulation killer and creator

Donald Trump talks the economy in New York
Donald Trump talks the economy in New York

Donald Trump plans to go after America's regulations.

"I will eliminate all needless and job-killing regulations now on the books," Trump said in a speech last week.

But Trump does not offer too many details about exactly what regulations he would cut. And his team admits that.

"There's a hunger in the press -- they want to know what specific things are going to be cut," says Peter Navarro, an economic adviser to Trump. "That's not the approach that Mr. Trump is taking."

Still, Trump has slammed a few rules and regulators. He also mentioned three key actions he would take on regulations:

1. Trump would put a moratorium -- or freeze -- on any new federal regulation proposals.

2. He would require regulators to rank all regulations and cut the least important ones.

3. He would also replace the leaders of some federal agencies. The Environmental Protection Agency appears to top the list.

"The strategy is to replace a bunch of know-nothing bureaucrats and replace them with smart, tough people and do a thorough regulatory review and eliminate all those regulations which are not in the public interest," says Navarro.

Trump has said he wants to eliminate "some of our most intrusive regulations, like the Waters of The U.S. rule. It also means scrapping the EPA's so-called Clean Power Plan which the government itself estimates will cost $7.2 billion a year."

Related: Trump's policies could cost economy $1 trillion

1. The EPA's Clean Power Plan

Trump calls the Clean Power Plan a job-killing regulation. The reality is a mixed bag: it would kill jobs in some industries like coal and oil and create jobs in others such as wind and solar, analysis shows.

Under the law, the EPA sets a goal for reducing carbon emissions, then the states decide how they'll meet that goal. The regulation came into being in August 2015. It's intended to prevent pollution and promote clean energy consumption.

However, the Supreme Court put a "stay" on the law in February 2016 after several states challenged the regulation. So the EPA can't enforce the rules of the act, which means it hasn't killed any jobs yet, experts say.

An analysis of the CPP by the Federal Register shows there would be job winners and losers. It estimates that the regulation would cost approximately 25,000 jobs over a 10-year period across coal, electricity and natural gas industries.

Related: Trump makes major changes to tax plan

There would also be approximately 52,000 to 83,000 full and part-time jobs created over the same time in clean energy industries.

"There are definitely places where that rule will have harsh effects on the employment of coal miners," says Ross Eisenbrey, vice president at the Economic Policy Institute.

Eisenbrey says the health benefits -- lower risk of lung cancer and asthma, for example -- far outweigh the costs.

It's unclear when or if the Supreme Court will lift the stay on the CPP.

2. Waters of the United States rule

The EPA created the "Waters of the United States" rule also in August 2015, which allows it to regulate land use to prevent water contamination.

For example, if a farmer wanted to convert wetlands to farmland, they may need a permit in order to do that.

Experts say the rule's necessity and benefit has become apparent after the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

The rule is under the same Supreme Court stay as the CPP, so it's not currently being enforced.

But there are costs associated with it, EPA's own analysis shows. Projects can get delayed and time-sensitive business deals can expire while the permits are being hammered out.

"It definitely can have an impact on the developing community...manufacturing community, the mining community," says Scott Fulton, the president of the Environmental Law Institute. "Having the need to go through a permitting process can delay projects."

The EPA's analysis notes benefits and costs, but does not provide an estimate on job gains or losses.

Related: Trump's Mexico tariff would hurt Ford and Americans

3. Trump plans 'dismantling' of Dodd-Frank

Trump told Reuters in May that he would be "dismantling" Dodd-Frank. At the time, he said he would soon provide a detailed policy plan for how to tear it up.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act came into being after the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession and created a litany of financial reforms.

"Dodd-Frank is a very negative force," Trump told Reuters.

Trump has yet to provide his dismantling plan for Dodd-Frank and made no mention of it during his economic speech last week. Navarro says there would be no more bank bailouts and that Trump would "regulate Wall Street banks justly and wisely, but vigorously."

Dodd-Frank empowers the Federal Reserve to require banks to have more cash on hand for the next rainy day. The Fed also conducts "stress tests" of the banks to see how they would perform in a crisis-like scenario.

Dodd-Frank also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the agency that fined Wells Fargo (WFC) after it opened up over a million bank accounts under customers' names without their permission.

Advocates say Dodd-Frank has helped make the banking system safer. Critics say it's pinching banks' profits by raising legal costs and is an obstacle to doing business.

Related: Here's what America imports from Mexico

4. Get rid of Janet Yellen

Trump has gone after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, accusing her of creating a "false economy" and a stock market bubble. Trump told CNBC Yellen should be "ashamed" of her tenure as Fed Chair.

It's unclear what he would do with the Fed, which is supposed to be independent of political influence.

Trump has threatened to remove Yellen. Her term as Fed Chair, which is a presidential appointment, ends in 2018 and it seems unlikely Trump would reappoint her if he's elected.

Besides setting monetary policy, the Fed is also a key regulator of the country's largest financial firms. The central bank is responsible for supervising and regulating banks under laws, such as Dodd-Frank, which Trump has spoken out against.

5. The regulation that Trump supports

Trump has mentioned introducing one piece of regulation. It involves eVerify, an electronic verification system for employers to check a prospective workers' legal status.

The intent is to prevent undocumented immigrants from taking jobs Americans could have.

A study published this month by two University of Hawaii professors found that eVerify in Arizona has forced out 40,000 Mexicans from the state. But some didn't go back to Mexico: about 10,000 just moved to New Mexico, the study found.

Seven states already use eVerify, and the results have been mixed. For example, while the majority of business owners use eVerify in Arizona, some employers say it's an extra, burdensome hurdle to the hiring process.

Regardless, experts say Trump would be introducing a regulation, in this instance.

"Of course it's a regulation. It's requiring businesses to do something they wouldn't do otherwise," says Eisenbrey of EPI.

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