Trump: We are cutting red tape to defend democracy
Donald Trump has said that by ending excessive regulation his government is "defending democracy and draining the swamp".
The US president is relishing the rolling back of federal rules in his administration's first year, as critics say he has tried to dismantle important protections for the environment, consumers and others.
The effort is driven by Mr Trump's contention there are too many rules, which is stifling economic growth.
Speaking at a White House event on Thursday, he said: "By ending excessive regulation we are defending democracy and draining the swamp."
Mr Trump signed an executive order days after taking office in January that directed agencies to identify two regulations to cut for every new one they intended to issue.
Agencies also had to offset any new regulatory costs with cuts by eliminating existing rules.
Mr Trump said government agencies have achieved a 22 to 1 ratio of regulatory cuts to new rules.
"Let's cut the red tape, let's set free our dreams," the president said as he symbolically cut a ribbon on stacks of paper representing the size of the regulatory code.
Deregulation has been a priority during a year in which Mr Trump's legislative agenda has faced headwinds.
The president's former strategist, Steve Bannon, has described the goal as "the deconstruction of the administrative state".