President Donald J. Trump began making good on campaign promises to put Americans back to work and reduce the size of government, as he signed orders and memoranda setting in motion approval of the Obama administration-halted Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and streamlining of infrastructure and manufacturing permitting processes. But firms and watchdog groups are concerned how an announced freezing of government hiring and contracting will play out, as well as the future of environmental protection.
At a Jan. 24 meeting with automakers, the president hailed the thousands of construction jobs his actions would create but said, “It’s the long-term jobs I want.” In a meeting the day before with 12 U.S. manufacturing-firm CEOs, Trump reported that his team believes regulation affecting those firms can be cut by 75% to ease U.S. factory-building. “It’s out of control,” Trump said of existing environmental regulations. “We are going to either give you your permits or we’re not going to give you your permits, but you’re going to know very quickly. And, generally speaking, we’re going to be giving you your permits.”