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Consumers Union Statement on New Executive Order: A Two-for-One Deal that Doesn’t Benefit Consumers

Monday, January 30, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization arm of Consumer Reports, today responded to the news that the President has signed an executive order directing federal agencies to cut two existing regulations for each new one they propose. The order also seeks to require agencies to impose no incremental costs, in total, for new rules and standards. A new clarification from the White House indicates that the order excludes independent agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission.

Laura MacCleery, vice president of consumer policy and mobilization for Consumer Reports, said, “We believe it is the role of government to set reasonable rules for the marketplace that protect consumers from dangers like predatory lending, dirty air and water, foodborne diseases, and unsafe medications. This order is telling federal agencies to trade off one rule that improves health or safety for two other rules, and that does not make sense.

“This order will require rules that impose no more costs on companies, but without accounting for critical benefits to the public that exceed the costs.  That means agencies will have to put corporate costs before Americans’ well-being.  This is a two-for-one deal that just doesn’t work for consumers.

“The order also poses conflicts with current law that sensibly governs the rulemaking process.  We strongly urge the White House to reconsider this misguided approach, and instead pursue constructive measures to reduce delays and costs, while valuing important protections for consumers.”