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Oval Office

12:07 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you all very much for being here. We have tremendous people standing behind me, and the biggest in the world in terms of manufacturing and business. Some of the people involved are Ken Fisher and Ken Frazier, Chairman and President, CEO of Merck. Alex Gorsky, Chairman, CEO of Johnson and Johnson. Marillyn Hewson — and she has been very tough to deal with but that’s okay — (laughter) — she’s a very tough negotiator, President of Lockheed Martin. Gregory Hayes, Chairman and CEO, United Technology. Andrew Liveris, my friend Andrew, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical Company. Mario Longhi, the President, CEO, United States Steel Corporation. Juan Luciano, Chairman, President, CEO of Archer Daniels Midland Company. Denise Morrison, President of Campbell’s Soup Company. Lee Styslinger III, Chairman and CEO of Altec, Inc. Mark Sutton, Chairman, CEO of International Paper. And Inge Thulin, Chairman, President of 3M Company.

And we have made tremendous progress with these great business leaders — amazing progress. They’re getting together in groups and they’re coming up with suggestions about their companies and how to bring jobs back to the United States. And I think it will be a fantastic day for the country.

And we met yesterday, and — I met with these folks and some more. Excessive regulation is killing jobs, driving companies out of our country like never before. Although, I must say, I think we’ve stopped it to a large part, Marillyn, right?

MS. HEWSON: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: Reducing wages and raising prices. I’ve listened to American companies and American workers. I’ve been listening to them for a long time. I’ve been listening to them complain for a long time. But today, this executive order directs each agency to establish a regulatory reform task force, which will ensure that every agency has a team of dedicated — and a real team of dedicated people to research all regulations that are unnecessary, burdensome and harmful to the economy, and therefore harmful to the creation of jobs and business.

Each task force will make recommendations to repeal or simplify existing regulations. The regulatory burden is for the people behind me and for the great companies of this country, and for small companies — an impossible situation, we’re going to solve it very quickly. They will also have to really report every once in a while to us so we can report on the progress, and so we can come up with some even better solutions.

This executive order is one of many ways we’re going to get real results when it comes to removing job-killing regulations and unleashing economic opportunity. We’ve already issued an order which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated. So that in itself is going to be tremendous, but what we’re doing is much more than even that.

Every regulation should have to pass a simple test: Does it make life better or safer for American workers or consumers? If the answer is no, we will be getting rid of it and getting rid of it quickly. We will stop punishing companies for doing business in the United States. It’s going to be absolutely just the opposite. They’re going to be incentivized for doing business in the United States.

We’re working very hard to roll back the regulatory burdens so that coal miners, factory workers, small-business owners, and so many others can grow their businesses and thrive. We cannot allow government to be an obstacle to government opportunity. We are going to bring back jobs and create more opportunities to prosper, maybe more than ever before in our country. We’ve made tremendous strides over the last short period of time. This is — I guess we’re four weeks into it. I think for four weeks I’ve done a good job, wouldn’t you say? (Laughter.)

But again, I want to thank these great business leaders. Some of them are with us and the White House, and they’ve had tremendous success — Reed and Jared and so many others — in business. And they’re helping us sort out what’s going on, because really, for many years, even beyond — long beyond Obama, President Obama — I will say that it’s been disastrous for business. This is going to be a place for business to do well and to thrive.

And so with the signing of this executive order, I would like to just congratulate everybody behind me. And, Andrew, I’d like to thank you for initially getting the group together.

MR. LIVERIS: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: Really a fantastic job you’ve done.

MR. LIVERIS: Thank you.

(The executive order is signed.)

THE PRESIDENT: Should I give this pen to Andrew? Dow Chemical. (Laughter.) I think maybe, right? (Applause.)

MR LIVERIS: Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: That means a lot of jobs. Thank you, everybody. Thank you very much.

12:12 P.M. EST