The American Public Health Association (APHA) is voicing strong opposition to an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that directs federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new rule put in place.

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, APHA executive director, said the so-called “one-in-two-out” executive order threatens to weaken the federal government’s role in protecting the public from health threats.

Rules protect the public

"Federal rules play a critical role in protecting the public from serious health threats, including lead poisoning, deadly air pollution, toxic chemicals, food contamination and workplace injuries,” said Benjamin. "It is troubling that the executive order appears to fail to take into consideration the benefits of a rule that often vastly outweigh the costs.

"Forcing an agency to arbitrarily identify two rules to eliminate for every new one it seeks to issue defies reason and sound policy-making. A new rule seeking to protect the public should not come at the expense of two other rules that also keep the citizens of our nation safe and healthy."

U.S. Chamber backs executive order

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donahue, however, is applauding Trump for taking on what it calls “the regulatory juggernaut that is limiting economic growth, choking small business, and putting people out of work.”

Donohue said his organization looks forward to working with the Trump administration to identify the regulations “doing the most harm.”