President Donald Trump met with executives from more than a dozen prominent companies Monday and suggested that his administration hopes to "cut regulations by 75 percent, maybe more."
Trump, according to Reuters, also reiterated a goal of reducing the nation's corporate tax rate from 35 percent to as little as 15 percent, but he said that business leaders view regulations as more of a problem than the tax code.
"When you want to expand your plant, or when [Ford Motor Co. CEO] Mark [Fields] wants to come in and build a big massive plant, or when Dell wants to come in and do something monstrous and special — you're going to have your approvals really fast,” Trump said.
In addition to Ford and Dell, Politico reported that other manufacturers represented at Monday's meeting included Lockheed Martin, U.S. Steel, Dow Chemical, Johnson & Johnson, Whirlpool, International Paper, Corning, Under Armour, Arconic and SpaceX.
Trump vowed that dramatically cutting regulations would somehow yield a system "just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people" and declared that he was "a very big person when it comes to the environment."
Critics suggested that sweeping changes to federal regulations could jeopardize worker and consumer protections, consumer safety and the environment.
Analysts, meanwhile, previously said that Trump's tax overhaul could add trillions to the nation's debt absent changes to Social Security and Medicare. His administration believes that subsequent economic growth would prevent a major increase in debt levels.
Trump also repeated during the White House meeting that he hopes to implement "a very major border tax" on companies that shift jobs overseas and send products back to the U.S.
He previously called for a 35 percent fee, but a tax would need to clear the Republican-controlled Congress while a tariff would likely meet a legal challenge and could spark a trade war.