White House

Wilbur Ross: My Commerce Department will consult with businesses about their regulations

Wilbur Ross on border tax: Something will be found to fill trillion-dollar hole

The Commerce Department is preparing to ask manufacturing companies about their concerns over the government permitting process and regulations.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Friday that the official request for information will be published in the Federal Register within days. A draft filed Friday and slated for release Tuesday includes eight questions covering permitting and regulatory burden.

The administration is seeking input on streamlining the permitting process and eliminating overlapping or duplicative work. The agency also wants comment from small and large companies on how they approach government permits.

On regulation, the survey asks which rules are most difficult to comply with — and which agencies administer them. It also addresses how regulations can be simplified.

"We are up to our eyeballs in trying to make sure we identify all the problems," Ross said. "It's not just the cost of the regulation. It's also the delays. … I think that will be one of the most fruitful areas that the administration can attack quickly."

The survey follows several meetings President Donald Trump and manufacturing executives at the White House. Ross said the administration plans to work with groups such as the National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business to roll back regulations.

After discussions at the White House late last month, Dow Chemical Chief Executive Andrew Liveris said he was encouraged by the president's focus on job creation and manufacturing.

"There is no question that the language of business is occurring here at the White House," he said.