Regulatory Analysis Under the Trump Administration

The Trump Administration’s regulatory policies have commanded considerable attention from the national media. But little has been said about the effects of its initiatives on regulatory analysis. For more than three decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have required federal agencies to assess the benefits, costs, and other impacts of major U.S. regulatory actions prior to their adoption. That required assessment aims to provide an evidence base for decision-making, to ensure that agencies regulate only when the benefits likely justify the costs unless otherwise required by law. Given this longstanding commitment, many observers have concluded that regulatory analysis is here to stay. The Trump Administration’s policies, however, pose new methodological challenges and magnify existing ones. The increased emphasis on deregulation requires greater attention to approaches for assessing the impacts of decreasing—rather than…

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