20 May 2020 White House Moves to Enact National Center COVID-19 Blueprint Recommendation
Trump Executive Order Reinforces Free Enterprise as Key to Restarting American Economy
Washington, D.C. – The Trump Administration’s new executive order expediting deregulation to aid in job creation and economic opportunity was applauded by policy experts from the National Center for Public Policy Research, who recently released a blueprint for economic recovery and liberty restoration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government must also be willing to use its “financial leverage” to convince state and local governments to do their part in reopening America for business, the experts added.
“The most important thing Washington can do is give the green light for reopening the economy,” said National Center Senior Fellow Horace Cooper. “It can be done safely, prudently and – most importantly – rapidly. Getting American households back on a solid financial footing will not only save lives, but will restore the sense of normalcy that Americans desperately want.”
The executive order issued this week by President Donald Trump noted that COVID-19 “attacked our Nation’s economy as well as its health.” And “[j]ust as we continue to battle COVID-19 itself, so too must we now join together to remove barriers to the greatest engine of economic prosperity the world has ever known: the innovation, initiative and drive of the American people.”
In particular, the order stated:
It is the policy of the United States to combat the economic consequences of COVID-19 with the same vigor and resourcefulness with which the fight against COVID-19 itself has been waged. Agencies should address this economic emergency by rescinding, modifying, waiving, or providing exemptions from regulations and other requirements that may inhibit economic recovery, consistent with applicable law and with protection of the public health and safety, with national and homeland security, and with budgetary priorities and operational feasibility.
It mandates federal agencies to accelerate the rule-making process for reforming regulation, to recognize responsible efforts by businesses to comply with laws while dealing with the pandemic’s difficulties and to provide guidance and enforcement tailored to the special circumstances of COVID-19 recovery.
“President Trump’s executive order to cut regulatory red tape will be enormously helpful in jumpstarting small businesses, which is essential to economic recovery. Particularly noteworthy is the order’s emphasis on enforcement discretion, which will allow agencies to go easy on businesses making good faith efforts to comply with regulations but which fall short due to the enormously difficult circumstances. Right now, getting people back to work must be the highest priority,” said National Center President David Ridenour. “But if the president’s order is to have any real impact, businesses must be allowed to actually reopen. Some state and city governments have signaled that they’ll remain closed even after meeting the phased criteria for reopening outlined in the president’s plan. Washington must use its financial leverage to prod them to open up as expeditiously as possible.”
Ridenour and Cooper are co-authors, along with National Center Senior Fellows Dr. Bonner Cohen and Drew Johnson, of “Beyond COVID-19: Blueprint for Restoring Liberty, Rebuilding the Economy, Safeguarding Public Health and Responding to Crises.” The report provides 54 policy recommendations drawn from the lessons of the current pandemic response in which “[c]ertain, measurable harm was imposed on our civil liberties, on our economy and on our health so we could reduce the less-certain public health risk of COVID-19.”
The National Center’s “Beyond COVID-19” blueprint addresses issues including protecting fundamental rights, changing America’s relationships with China and World Health Organization, reversing health care central planning and – important to the new executive order – rolling back regulations that harm the economy and hurt the ability to respond to a pandemic.
“As we recommended in our ‘Beyond COVID-19’ blueprint, the White House has issued an executive order requiring government agencies to examine any and all federal regulations that burden employment and either repeal or suspend enforcement,” said Cooper. “With unprecedented levels of unemployment, it is vital that we focus on getting Americans back to work. President Trump’s executive order is an essential means of accomplishing this goal.”
Cooper is also the author of the Issues & Insights commentary “COVID-19 Solution: Pelosi’s $3 Trillion Wishlist vs. American Exceptionalism,” which highlighted the need for “clear-eyed proposals grounded in constitutional principles and guided by fiscal restraint and concern for America’s posterity” in COVID-19 response efforts.
To schedule an interview with any of the blueprint’s authors, contact Jenny Kefauver at (703) 842-7405 or cell (703) 850-3533 or [email protected].
The National Center for Public Policy Research, founded in 1982, is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. It receives over 350,000 individual contributions a year from over 60,000 active recent contributors. Contributions are tax-deductible. Sign up for email updates here.