CEOs Present Trump with Regulation Hit List

GettyImages-55974677-compressorIn light of Donald Trump’s pledge to get rid of two regulations for every new one created, American CEOs have drawn up a list of the ones they dislike most to help him get started.

Based on a survey of around 200 CEO members of peer group Business Roundtable, the list mentions 16 regulations in total, ranging from Obama’s overtime rules to strictures on ozone gas emissions.

“The majority of these regulations directly and negatively impact economic growth,” the group’s CEO, Mark Costa, wrote in a letter to senior White House officials.

The overtime rules, currently held up in the courts, would double to $47,500 the maximum salary that millions of workers could earn while still being eligible for mandatory overtime pay. “The regulations affect longstanding employment models and impose additional costs that would hurt employers’ ability to hire more workers,” the letter said.

“While some of the listed regulations, in isolation, may not appear significant to growth, their cumulative effect has drained resources from innovation and job creation and directed them to non-value-adding administrative and bureaucratic activities.

Also targeted were new pay-ratio disclosure rules that force companies to publish the difference between the pay packets of CEOs and rank-and-file employees. Critics argue they don’t paint an accurate picture because bankers, for example, are paid much more than shop assistants, meaning their pay ratio would look much bigger, even if they were paid much less.

Some other notable inclusions in the list were the Clean Power Act, which prevents new coal-fired power stations from being built unless they come equipped with expensive carbon capture and storage technology. “Currently blocked by the federal judiciary, the Act should be re-crafted to address concerns about EPA overreach infringing on state authority, while providing maximum flexibility for compliance,” the letter said.

Some of the more obscure requests included rolling back laws that tightened ambient air quality standards for ground-level ozone, which the CEOs claimed hampered economic growth in vast sections of the country. They also want regulations scratched that increased employee healthcare reporting requirements, treat certain types of debt as equity and allow small shareholders to more easily target directors at annual meetings.

“While some of the listed regulations, in isolation, may not appear significant to growth, their cumulative effect has drained resources from innovation and job creation and directed them to non-value-adding administrative and bureaucratic activities,” Costa said.

The full list can be viewed here.

Editor’s note: In the cover story of the March/April issue of Chief Executive magazine, we take a deeper dive into this very issue. This must-read story will hit CEOs’ inboxes by March 5th. If you do not currently subscribe to Chief Executive magazine, click here to subscribe. 

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Ross Kelly
Ross Kelly is a London-based business journalist. He has been a staff correspondent or editor at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance and the Australian Associated Press.

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