Regulatory reform improving, but slowly, NAM tells House
Regulatory reform is a major thrust of the Bush Administration’s agenda to help manufacturing become more competitive, and the Environmental Protection Agency has been especially responsive to the need to improve regulations, but some other agencies have done less than they could, according to Lawrence Fineran, Vice President for Legal and Regulatory Reform Policy of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Fineran told the House Small Business Committee’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform and Oversight that the regulatory review was a key element of the Administration’s Manufacturing Initiative. “The special attention was warranted,” Fineran said, “since at the time manufacturing was experiencing a recession where, for the first time since World War II, it led the downturn and lagged the recovery.
“A number of our member companies were skeptical of this exercise because they %%MDASSML%% and the NAM %%MDASSML%% participated in a similar exercise in 2002 and the results were disappointing,” Fineran said. “None of the regulations that the NAM nominated for improvement in 2002 had been changed by 2004.”
But the NAM worked hard to identify problem regulations and suggest modifications. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) used this information along with input from other groups to develop what is known as the “List of 76” regulations. “We were very pleased that five of our seven highlighted regulations were on that list,” Fineran said. “We were also pleased that a number of our more specific suggestions were on the list, and that most had timetables for action.”