- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

President Trump said at a meeting with business executives Monday that he plans for massive reductions in taxes and federal regulations to spur economic growth, saying he wanted make America more business friendly to “make our products here again.”

The breakfast meeting at the White House with some of the country’s most prominent business leaders was the first order of business on Mr. Trump’s first full day as president. His focus will be on the economy and jobs the entire day, including the expected signing of an executive order to begin unraveling trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“We want to start making our products again,” Mr. Trump said at the top of the meeting. “We don’t want to bring them in. We want to make them here. That doesn’t mean we don’t trade, because we do trade. But we want to make our products here again.”

All of the moves echo Mr. Trump’s top promises from the campaign trail.

He said he planned reduce corporate taxes from the current 35 percent to as low as 15 percent. But he said that rolling back federal regulation that impede business growth would have a bigger impact.

He said that regulation would be reduced by 75 percent.

“A bigger thing — and that’s surprised me — is we are going to be cutting regulation, and it will be just as strong and just as good and just as protective of the people as the regulation we have now,” said the president. “The problem with the regulation we have right now is you cannot do anything.”

Mr. Trump said that he also planned to cut income taxes for middle-class families.

He stressed that fewer regulations didn’t mean less protection for consumers or the environment.

“I’m a very big person when it comes to the environment. I’ve won awards on the environment. But some of that stuff makes it impossible to get anything built,” he said.

The meeting with business leaders, which Mr. Trump said would be repeated on a quarterly basis, included the heads of Dell Technologies, Ford Motor Company, Lockheed Martin, Dow Chemical and Under Armour.

Also seated around the conference table were the top executives from Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Arctic, U.S. Steel, SpaceX, International Paper and Corning, according to a guest list provided by the White House.

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