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Trump’s First Actions and the Net Effects:

It’s been a busy few weeks in the White House without a Cabinet in place and a number of Executive Orders.  Without any political commentary here are the highlights I think you need to know, in no specific order:

  • Regulatory Freeze: On 20 January 2017 a memo was released outlining the President’s plan for managing new and pending federal regulations.  No regulations can be sent to the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) until a department or agency head appointed or designated by President Trump has reviewed and authorized the regulation.  Any regulations that were pending but not yet sent to the OFR were frozen and the effective date of regulations pending at OFR was pushed for 60 days.
  • Reduce Regulation and Control Regulatory Costs: On 30 January 2017 an Executive Order was issued requiring federal agencies and departments to identify at least 2 existing regulations for repeal in or order to offset the costs of any new regulations. The total incremental cost of all new regulations for FY17 must “no greater than zero”.  This military, national security or foreign service are exempt as well as the independent agencies like GSA and SBA.
  • Border Security and Immigration Enforcement: On 25 January 2017 an Executive Order was issued directing agencies to commence planning and identifying funding sources for a wall on the Mexican border as well as detention centers.
  • Streamline Permitting and Reduce Regulatory Burdens on Domestic Manufacturing: On 24 January 2017 a Presidential Memorandum directed executive departments and agencies to support the expansion of US manufacturing via (i) faster review and approvals of manufacturing facility expansion/construction and (ii) reductions in regulatory burdens impacting domestic manufacturing.
  • American Pipeline Construction: On 24 January 2017 a Presidential Memorandum directed the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan for all pipelines to be retrofitted, repaired or expanded with US materials and equipment.  There’s a specific Buy American provision included.
  • Dodd-Frank Scale Back: On 3 February 2017 a Presidential Memorandum was issued starting the process of reducing regulations on the banking and finance industry.

What’s the net effect of these exec orders?

  • There is significant uncertainty in the federal rulemaking process now.
  • There’s opportunity for construction for the wall and detention centers.
  • Look at your workforce and identify risks of immigration issues and the effect on your business model.
  • The trend appears to be an intent to have less red tape in government contracting and business overall.
  • Government contractors need to take a whole new look at their Buy America compliance requirements.
  • Look for an ease of regulations on the banking side to open up the credit markets (arguably).

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