OPINION: For A Thriving US Economy, Free Transportation From Government Regulations

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Jim Burnley Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation
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Whether it’s evermore autonomous cars or planes that transmit their locations to one another, technology is rapidly changing the way people travel. And today, Americans want to travel faster, with greater safety and less disruption to their everyday lives.

To make this happen, the United States needs a regulatory landscape that fosters innovation instead of impeding it. That’s one of the reasons why deregulation has been a top priority of the Trump administration, which has saved the American people $23 billion from the 176 deregulatory actions that have already been completed in 2018.

The Department of Transportation, under Secretary Elaine Chao’s leadership, has been in the forefront of this effort to modernize and streamline government regulations. The Department of Transportation has taken 23 deregulatory actions and only created one new regulation. By cutting this red tape, Americans saved $1.2 billion in 2018.

The leadership at DOT understands that the department has accumulated archaic, burdensome regulations over the years that make it harder for businesses to operate, without enhancing safety or providing significant benefits to consumers. Thus, a thorough review of existing regulations is underway, with the goals of discarding or modernizing those that hurt our economy while maintaining the highest standards of safety

The fact is: many of the onerous federal rules that have been in place for decades hold the economy back from reaching its full potential.

For example, the Federal Highway Administration still enforces an arcane rule from 1916 that hinders state governments’ ability to purchase patented or proprietary materials. The quality, safety and expansion of our highway systems have been undermined by this 102-year-old rule.

Department of Transportation is conducting a detailed review of existing rules.

One such rule that deserves a fresh look is the emotional support rule for airline passengers that allows animals such as peacocks, ant farms and snakes to qualify as emotional support animals, even though they aren’t trained to provide support and may disrupt flights.

Another opportunity for modernization in the aviation industry is to allow aircraft owners to register aircrafts electronically, eliminating antiquated paperwork requirements.

The American economy was built on innovation, and our future is no different — technological advancements will propel us forward and keep us safer.

The Department of Transportation under Secretary Chao is ensuring the Federal Government enables growth in the field, rather than hindering it. The Trump administration is ensuring economic prosperity for future generations by removing duplicative regulations and streamlining the process for doing business.

When I served as the Secretary of Transportation under President Reagan, there was a strong belief that a market free of government intervention and excessive regulations was the best way to drive competition and prosperity. And when it came to the airline industry, we followed the approach established in 1978, when Congress enacted a wide-ranging economic deregulatory framework.

The result was a dramatic decline in the cost of flying for passengers, with the airline industry as a whole experiencing an unprecedented boom in productivity, demand and efficiency.  Subsequent administrations have continued these policies, resulting in a greatly increased number of air travelers, who fly in a remarkably safe system.

I’m pleased to see the Department of Transportation take such a proactive approach to cutting the red tape, seeking out efficiencies and cost savings while protecting safety.

A market without unnecessary government intervention will ensure our economic potential is fully realized and businesses can continue to grow, innovate and serve the traveling public.

Jim Burnley served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President Reagan.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.