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Trump Signs Executive Order Aimed At Reducing Regulations

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday continuing his efforts to eliminate government regulations he believes are killing jobs and driving companies out of the country.

The executive order directs each federal agency to establish a task force to identify unnecessary regulations that can be repealed or simplified.

"Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers?" Trump said. "If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly."

"We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States," he added. "It's going to be absolutely just the opposite. They're going to be incentivized for doing business in the United States."

Trump noted he previously issued an order requiring two old regulations to be eliminated for every new regulation implemented.

The president was joined at the signing ceremony by top executives from a number of major companies, including Merck (MRK), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Lockheed Martin (LMT), and Dow Chemical (DOW).

Trump said he's been listening to American companies and workers complain for a long time about excessive regulations.

"We're working very hard to roll back the regulatory burdens so that coal miners, factory workers, small-business owners, and so many others can grow their businesses and thrive," Trump said.

"We cannot allow government to be an obstacle to government opportunity," he added. "We are going to bring back jobs and create more opportunities to prosper, maybe more than ever before in our country."

While Trump described his efforts to roll back regulations as a boost to the economy, the moves have drawn criticism from environmental groups.

Tiernan Sittenfeld, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, accused Trump of rigging the system so corporate lobbyists can lower standards that protect public health and safety.

"These task forces will attempt to roll back common-sense protections for the air we breathe, the water we drink and the lands we cherish," Sittenfeld said, according to NPR.

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