The Trump White House has issued seven more executive orders than President Barack Obama in the same period. Those signings have come with campaign-like rallies and splashy photo ops, even as the resulting recommendations remain months away.
"It could be that President Trump wants to be more hands-on," said Sean Moulton, program manager at the Project on Government Oversight. "While obviously, the agencies are doing the work, he wants to put his name on it; that could be his preferred way of operating."
The market is watching two deadlines closely. First, the Treasury Department is expected to file a report by the first week of June outlining its guideposts for financial reform. The findings will likely inform the final draft of the Financial Choice Act 2.0, the House's replacement for Dodd-Frank, a draft of which was released on April 19 and will be debated April 26.
Rob Nichols, president of the American Bankers Association, told CNBC that the report would "provide key stakeholders with the important opportunity to better understand President Trump's priorities and goals for financial regulation in the months and years ahead."
The second closely watched deadline came via an informal announcement, not an official executive order. In early April, the U.S. and China established a "100-day plan" to revisit the countries' trade relationship and begin untangling issues that have plagued the two nations for decades and resulted in a trade deficit which stood at $347 billion at the end of 2016 that the president has roundly criticized.
The expiration of that time frame will happen in mid-July, though the president's advisors have suggested there will be "way stations" of progress before then, and that the large issues will take much longer to resolve.
"We have to show each other that we can walk together, then we can start running," said the president's chief economic advisor, Gary Cohn, at a recent conference in Washington. "We're not saying it's 100-and-done, we're saying it's a start, and we start working really hard after the 100-day plan on the big things that are really going to move the needle."
The due dates are difficult to calculate because it's unclear when the White House is starting the official clock on many of these matters and whether they'll offer leeway if an agency needs more time. Agencies currently operate with skeletal staff as the nomination process drags on and temporary budgets as Congress works to pass a spending bill to keep the government open. Within the executive branch, only the Department of Homeland Security has a deputy secretary confirmed and installed.
The Treasury alone — in addition to financial regulation and tax burdens – must consult on or submit its own findings on U.S. trade deficits, energy independence, anti-dumping policies, "Buy American" laws and regulatory reform. But the agency only has 1 of 28 appointed positions filled, according to The Washington Post and Partnership for Public Service.