Feb 11, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump's final-year record for regulations

Reproduced from GW Regulatory Studies Center; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The Trump administration published a record number of regulations considered economically significant during its final year, spurred on by the coronavirus and a last-minute policy push.

Why it matters: It's hard to know the long-term impact, but any single rule "could entail hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars in annual costs and benefits," George Washington University expert Daniel Perez told Axios.

  • Some will be harder than others for President Biden to retract.

By the numbers: Roughly 20% of the economically significant rules had to do with the Paycheck Protection Program, which provided coronavirus relief to small businesses.

  • Agencies also slashed environmental regulations and implemented new immigration policies through the rule process last year.
  • There was higher regulatory output during the Trump administration's midnight period — roughly between Election and Inauguration days — than any other administration, Perez said.

Between the lines: For a regulation to be considered "economically significant," according to an executive order, it has to have at least a $100 million annual effect on the economy or some kind of material, adverse effect on the economy, productivity, competition, the environment, public health or state or local governments.

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