I recently met with one of the most actively engaged and supportive members of the American Bakers Association (ABA) and their senior management team. They asked me to provide a market and Washington update.
I, like many in Washington, have been feeling pretty good about the recently enacted tax bill, significant rollback of federal regulations and the resulting economic uptick. I highlighted those developments during my update.
The owner of the company politely interrupted me and, while noting that he was appreciative of the tax bill and the regulatory rollback, emphatically stated that regulatory overreach in the healthcare, environmental and workforce areas were still in place.
The Trump Administration has touted its regulatory reform initiatives, including the executive order requiring two regulations be repealed for every new regulation. Congress, has successfully eliminated over a dozen major regulations.
Federal regulatory requirements are a significant drag on investment in employees, new product developments and more-efficient operations. In many places, probably no more acutely than in the workforce area, bakers are trying to manage a 2018 business in a 1940s regulatory environment.
Equally frustrating is the glacial pace of regulatory modernization at the FDA and EPA. FDA’s recently Nutrition Innovation Strategy, an attempt to modernize food nutrition policy, looks remarkably like the food policy of the previous administration. Meanwhile, EPA’s attempts to expand the scope of key environmental regulations despite science and common sense is mind-boggling.
ABA is poised to double down on its pressure on the Trump Administration to modernize the federal regulatory system. ABA’s policy committees, guided by science, cost-benefit analysis and common sense will be helping ABA pursue meaningful and lasting regulatory reform. We urge the entire baking industry to fully engage on reducing the regulatory overreach impacting the industry.