In the remaining days of his tenure, President Trump is rushing to enact a slew of new rules and regulations designed to make his mark on businesses, commerce and the economy.
Past presidents in their final term have used the time between elections and inauguration to take last-minute action to expand and seal their agendas. Clearly, some of the changes are aimed at making it, at least temporarily, more difficult for the next administration to pursue its goals.
Of course, President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. could issue new executive orders to overthrow Mr. Trumps. And Democrats in Congress, who will control the House and Senate, could use the Congressional Review Act to quickly reverse regulatory action already at the end of August.
Here are some of the things Mr. Trump and his agents did or are trying to do prior to Mr. Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. – Peter Eavis
Ban on Chinese apps and other products. Mr Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday banning transactions involving eight Chinese software applications, including Alipay. It was the latest escalation in the president’s economic war with China. Details and the start of the ban will be left to Mr Biden, who may decide not to pursue the idea any further. Separately, the Trump administration has also banned the import of cotton from the Xinjiang area, where China has arrested large numbers of ethnic minorities and forced them to work in fields and factories. In a further step, the government banned several Chinese companies, including the chip maker SMIC and the drone maker DJI, from buying American products. The government is weighing further restrictions on China in recent days, including adding Alibaba and Tencent to a list of companies with ties to the Chinese military, a label that would prevent Americans from investing in those companies. – – Ana Swanson
Define gig workers as contractors. The Labor Department on Wednesday released the final version of a rule that would allow millions of workers in industries such as construction, cleaning and gig economy to be classified as contractors rather than employees. This is another step in supporting the business practices of companies like Uber and Lyft. – – Noam Scheiber
Reduction of the legal shield for social media. The Trump administration recently filed a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to narrow down its interpretation of a powerful legal shield for social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube. If the Commission does not act before the day of inauguration, the matter ends up on the desk of whoever Mr Biden chooses to head the agency. – – David McCabe
Bring the tech giants to justice. The The Federal Trade Commission filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook in December, two months after the Justice Department sued Google. It is up to the people appointed by Mr Biden to decide how best to handle the cases. – – David McCabe
Added new requirements for disclosure of cryptocurrencies. Finance suggested late last month new reporting requirements It is designed to prevent money laundering for certain cryptocurrency transactions. There were only 15 days – over the holidays – for public comment. Lawmakers and digital currency enthusiasts wrote to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to protest and win a short extension. But say opponents of the proposed rule The process and substance are flawedon the grounds that the requirement would hinder innovation and would likely challenge it in court. – – Ephrat Livni
Limiting banks in social and environmental issues. The currency inspector’s office hurries a suggested rule This would prohibit banks from lending to certain types of businesses, such as fossil fuel businesses, for environmental or social reasons. The regulator presented the proposal on November 20, limiting the time to accept comments to six weeks despite the holidays being interrupted. – Emily Flitter
Revision of regulations for banks and underserved communities. The office of currency auditor is also propose new guidelines on how banks can measure their activity in order to obtain credit for meeting their obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act, an anti-redlining law that forces them to do business in poor and minority communities. The agency rewritten some of the rules in May, but other regulators – the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation – haven’t signed up. – Emily Flitter
Deposit of “hot money”. On December 15th, the F.D.I.C. extended the authorization of brokered deposits for insurance protection. These deposits are infusions of cash into a bank at a high interest rate, but are known as “hot money” as customers can move the deposits from bank to bank for higher returns. Critics say the change could put the insurance fund at risk. F.D.I.C. Officials said the new rule is necessary to “modernize” the brokered deposit system. – Emily Flitter
Restriction of the regulatory authority on airlines. The Ministry of Transport in December authorized a ruleThis is what airlines and travel agents seek, and it limits the department’s authority over the industry by defining what is an unfair and misleading practice. Consumer groups largely rejected the rule. The airlines argued that the rule would limit the regulatory overrun. And the department said the definitions they used were consistent with their previous practice. – – Niraj Chokshi
Roll back a lightbulb rule. The Department of Energy has moved Block a rule that will leak light bulbs, which people and companies are increasingly replacing with much more efficient LED and compact fluorescent lamps. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, a former auto industry lobbyist, said in December that the Trump administration does not want to limit consumer choice. The regulation was due to come into force on January 1st and was made mandatory by a law passed in 2007. – Ivan Penn