Rule Making and Rule Enforcement Pauses

Commerce has a regulation, enacted in 2019 with effect last March (!), that

allows the government to block foreign telecommunication-gear imports and other business deals deemed a security threat[.]

There’s a clump of US businesses and trade groups that are pressing the Biden administration to “pause” enforcement while it

reviews the best path forward to working with industry on securing the [information and communications] supply chain[.]

There’s a larger problem here.

The objectors raise, entirely legitimately, let’s stipulate, concerns about this telecommunication-gear rule’s supposed excessive breadth of reach. However, willy-nilly cessations of enforcement just because this or that business or group gets a new administration to whom to object, is badly counterproductive. They are disruptive, they reduce predictability of the business environment impacted by that rule/regulation, and they raise the costs of doing business and through that costs to the end buyers.

If a business entity (or anyone else, come to that) has reason to object to a rule or regulation that’s in effect, that entity should take the matter up in a court of law. Appealing to the chief law enforcement facility—the White House—for selective enforcement is not the way to go.

Also: this is another reason for Congress to take back most of its delegation (of rule-making) authority to Executive Branch facilities, and enact—or not—its own, specific, laws that need very little rule making authority by unelected persons.

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