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Trump targets key Dodd-Frank financial regulations and taxes in new executive actions

| Friday, April 21, 2017, 9:24 p.m.

WASHINGTON — President Trump, who has vowed to dismantle the landmark Dodd-Frank financial reform law, took aim at two of its pillars Friday.

During an appearance at the Treasury Department, Trump signed two presidential memos ordering six-month reviews of the 2010 law's authority for regulators to designate large firms as a risk to the financial system and to try to shut them down with minimal collateral damage if they're on the verge of failing, the White House said.

Although the regulations were designed to end the problem of too-big-to-fail banks, Republicans have complained they do the opposite because the government would still step in instead of letting a firm fall into bankruptcy.

“These regulations enshrine too-big-to-fail and encourage risky behavior,” Trump said.

Trump also signed an executive order directing Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin to review significant changes to the tax code since the start of 2016 to determine whether they “impose an undue financial burden on American taxpayers,” “add undue complexity” or “exceed statutory authority,” the White House said.

That review will include rules enacted by the Obama administration to crack down on so-called inversions in which companies shift their headquarters abroad to reduce their U.S. tax bills, Mnuchin told reporters Friday.

But while inversions are “one of the significant things” to be looked at, the review will be broad, he said.

“I think everyone would agree the tax system is way too complicated and burdensome,” Mnuchin said.

Trump also said he would unveil his tax overhaul plan Wednesday. He provided no details during his Treasury appearance, but earlier Friday told The Associated Press that it would contain “a massive tax cut” for businesses and individuals.

Like other Trump executive actions, Friday's orders simply direct Cabinet-level reviews and don't make any substantive changes in federal policy. In the case of Dodd-Frank, Trump already ordered the Treasury Department in early February to consult with regulators on a review of the entire law and report back in four months.

“The purpose of the orders is to make clear what the president's and the administration's priorities are and to signify the importance of these issues to the American people,” Mnuchin told reporters Friday.

Trump is turning his attention to financial reform again as a top House Republican this week unveiled the latest version of legislation to replace Dodd-Frank, which was enacted in the wake of the financial crisis.

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