Busi­nesses see Trump dereg­u­la­tion as catalyst

Man­u­fac­tur­ing con­fi­dence grows

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY S.A. MILLER

The only area where Pres­i­dent Trump has chalked up big wins on his eco­nomic agenda so far has been the roll­back of what he calls “job-killing reg­u­la­tions,” but that has been enough to quickly bol­ster con­fi­dence across the man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor and help re­vive the coal in­dus­try.

Aero Tech Man­u­fac­tur­ing Inc., a pre­ci­sion sheet metal shop in North Salt Lake, Utah, is now on the hunt for work­ers to restart a sec­ond shift that it dis­con­tin­ued in 2007.

Sam Mc Cash land, Aero Tech’s vice pres­i­dent of man­u­fac­tur­ing, said reg­u­la­tions were not a ma­jor con­cern for the com­pany, but what­ever was hap­pen­ing with the econ­omy was flood­ing them with or­ders.

“[Cus­tomers] don’t or­der any­thing un­til they need it, and they need it to­mor­row,” he told The Wash­ing­ton Times. “The im­pact of Mr. Trump get­ting in is we are get­ting a lot more of that. Ev­ery­one wants ev­ery­thing right now.”

A sec­ond shift has the po­ten­tial of dou­bling the num­ber of hourly fac­tory work­ers from 75 to about 130.

Sim­i­lar sto­ries are told through­out the coun­try. More CEOs are in­vest­ing in equip­ment and hir­ing, cre­at­ing an eco­nomic chain re­ac­tion.

Fed­eral reg­u­la­tions siphon an es­ti­mated $4 tril­lion a year out of $18 tril­lion in the U.S.

econ­omy. How­ever, the im­me­di­ate im­pact of fewer fed­eral rules — and less fear of the fu­ture — is dif­fi­cult to gauge in many in­dus­tries.

The roll­back of reg­u­la­tions has had the most im­me­di­ate im­pact on the coal in­dus­try after Mr. Trump re­voked Obama-era rules to com­bat cli­mate change.

Last week, Corsa Coal Corp. opened its first new deep mine in Penn­syl­va­nia in six years.

CEO Ge­orge Deth­lef­sen said Mr. Trump’s dereg­u­la­tion ef­fort had brought jobs back to the strug­gling coal econ­omy in western Penn­syl­va­nia.

Speak­ing at the open­ing cer­e­mony via satel­lite, Mr. Trump said, “Wash­ing­ton may be 180 miles down the road, but I want you to know each and ev­ery day I’m fight­ing for you and all the for­got­ten men and women of Amer­ica.”

Al­pha Nat­u­ral Re­sources an­nounced the open­ing of a new mine in West Vir­ginia. The com­pany hosted a job fair in a com­mu­nity where just months ago lay­offs were the norm.

“The ef­fort to fill sev­eral open po­si­tions in our Cen­tral Ap­palachia op­er­a­tions and the new Pan­ther Ea­gle mine are the re­sult of sev­eral fac­tors. First, the pres­i­dent’s pos­i­tive sen­ti­ment to­ward coal, along with Mr. Trump’s em­pha­sis on in­fra­struc­ture and eco­nomic growth have been good for the coal in­dus­try as a whole,” said Al­pha Nat­u­ral Re­sources spokesman Steve Hawkins.

The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ers said the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion’s dereg­u­la­tions have played a ma­jor role in boost­ing busi­ness con­fi­dence to a 20-year high.

“One of the big­gest changes is the tra­jec­tory of reg­u­la­tory bur­dens over the course of this pres­i­dency,” said Rosario Palmieri, the as­so­ci­a­tion’s vice pres­i­dent of la­bor, le­gal and reg­u­la­tory pol­icy.

He pointed to Mr. Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der that re­quired ev­ery new reg­u­la­tion to be ac­com­pa­nied by the elim­i­na­tion of two reg­u­la­tions, re­sult­ing in a net re­duc­tion in reg­u­la­tions for the first time in U.S. his­tory.

“That’s the most sig­nif­i­cant change of di­rec­tion in pol­icy that we’ve ever seen,” he said. “It is al­ready hav­ing an ef­fect, but you’re likely to see more of an ef­fect in fu­ture years as these dereg­u­la­tory ac­tions take place.”

Mr. Trump went after fed­eral reg­u­la­tions as soon as he took of­fice. It was one of the few ar­eas where Democrats couldn’t block him. With the help of Repub­li­can ma­jori­ties in both cham­bers, the rarely used Con­gres­sional Re­view Act al­lowed him to put the brakes on 14 rules adopted in the fi­nal days of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The re­view act had been used suc­cess­fully only once be­fore, when the Clin­ton ad­min­is­tra­tion nixed an Oc­cu­pa­tional Safety and Health Ad­min­is­tra­tion rule that would have forced em­ploy­ers to take steps to safe­guard work­ers from er­gonomic in­juries.

The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion also aims to trim reams of rules af­fect­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mits, work­place safety and unions.

Amit Narang, who tracks fed­eral reg­u­la­tions at the watch­dog group Pub­lic Cit­i­zen, said dereg­u­la­tion doesn’t cre­ate jobs but does threaten health and safety.

“It’s false for Pres­i­dent Trump to claim that rolling back reg­u­la­tions boosts job growth, and he has very lit­tle ev­i­dence to point to now,” he said.

The lift­ing of reg­u­la­tions on coal min­ing was par­tic­u­larly trou­bling, he said, be­cause it pro­tected a dy­ing in­dus­try that was be­ing re­placed by cheaper nat­u­ral gas and was con­tribut­ing to cli­mate change.

“They are go­ing to have to rig the mar­ket, frankly, against oil and gas in or­der to bring back coal be­cause it is mar­ket forces that are de­stroy­ing coal jobs, not reg­u­la­tions,” he said.

Still, dereg­u­la­tion plays a role in much of Mr. Trump’s jobs agenda.

When he an­nounced an ap­pren­tice­ship and job-train­ing ini­tia­tive Thurs­day, dereg­u­la­tion was front and cen­ter.

“We will be re­mov­ing fed­eral re­stric­tions that have pre­vented many in­dus­tries from cre­at­ing ap­pren­tice­ship pro­grams,” said Mr. Trump. “We have reg­u­la­tions on top of reg­u­la­tions, and in his­tory no one has ever got­ten rid of so many reg­u­la­tions as the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion. That’s one of the rea­sons you see the jobs and the com­pa­nies all com­ing on so strongly.”

He signed ex­ec­u­tive or­ders that loos­ened fed­eral re­stric­tions on job train­ing pro­grams and en­cour­aged part­ner­ships be­tween busi­nesses and col­leges to train young peo­ple for an ar­ray of jobs that em­ploy­ers strug­gle to fill.

The ad­min­is­tra­tion dubbed it the “Work­force of To­mor­row” pro­gram.

The on-the-job train­ing and earn-as-you-learn pro­grams are in­tended to pre­pare stu­dents for re­ward­ing ca­reers, in­clud­ing high-tech jobs op­er­at­ing state-of-the-art ma­chin­ery.

The pro­grams also will of­fer young work­ers al­ter­na­tives to the mas­sive stu­dent loan debt as­so­ci­ated with four-year col­lege de­grees, ac­cord­ing to the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mr. Trump said work­ers needed bet­ter skills for the jobs be­ing created. He touted the eco­nomic progress.

“We have a lot of com­pa­nies mov­ing into this coun­try. You see the un­em­ploy­ment rate is at a very, very low level. Job en­thu­si­asm and man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness en­thu­si­asm is at record lev­els — never been higher,” said the pres­i­dent.

“A lot of good num­bers are com­ing out, in­clud­ing al­most $4 tril­lion in gain to the stock mar­kets since the elec­tion — $4 tril­lion,” he said. “We’ve got it go­ing. We have to make sure the peo­ple are here and they’re go­ing to be well-trained. … We’re train­ing peo­ple to have great jobs and high-pay­ing jobs.”

Trump

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