On January 30, 2017, President Trump signed Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The E.O. provides that, unless prohibited by law, whenever an executive department or agency (agency) publicly proposes for notice and comment or otherwise promulgates a new regulation, it shall identify at least two existing regulations to be repealed. The E.O. directs the heads of all agencies that the total incremental cost of all new regulations, including repealed regulations, to be finalized this year shall be no greater than zero, unless otherwise required by law or consistent with advice provided in writing by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (Director), and requires that any new incremental costs associated with new regulations shall, to the extent permitted by law, be offset by the elimination of existing costs associated with at least two prior regulations. Exceptions are provided for military, national security, foreign affairs, agency internal organization, management or person and any other category exempted by the Director.

In addition, each regulation approved by the Director during the Presidential budget process shall be included in the Unified Regulatory Agenda required under Executive Order 12866, as amended, or any successor order. Exceptions require the Director’s approval, who is also required to issue guidance that shall address, among other things, processes for standardizing the measurement and estimation of regulatory costs; standards for determining what qualifies as new and offsetting regulations; standards for determining the costs of existing regulations that are considered for elimination; processes for accounting for costs in different fiscal years; methods to oversee the issuance of rules with costs offset by savings at different times or different agencies; and emergencies and other circumstances that might justify individual waivers of the requirements of this section.

At present, it is unclear how the new E.O. will affect trade agencies, including CBP’s mandate to issue regulations under the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015.