Report finds regulation compliance costs businesses $1.86 trillion

Over the past several years, think-tanks and market-related organizations have released reports that have given the United States low grades when it comes to red tape, bureaucracy and the cost of complying with regulations. Following each session of Congress, Republicans and Democrats usually add more regulations for businesses – small, medium and large – to follow.

How much does it cost? It’s more than the gross domestic product of some Western countries, according to a new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has pegged the number at close to $2 trillion. This isn’t surprising to some considering that the 2013 Federal Register maintained 79,311 pages, the fourth-highest in history.

Clyde Wayne Crews, vice president for policy at CEI, assessed compliance costs of federal regulations and reported that compliance with regulations cost businesses $1.86 trillion last year, more than the GDP of Canada, Australia, Spain, Mexico and South Korea.

A yellow folder with the label RegulationsAlthough federal, state and local taxes can hurt individual Americans and households, Crews says that regulations are the hidden costs of doing business in the U.S. and those burdensome regulations cost the average household nearly $15,000 per year.

“Every year, there are thousands of regulations compared to only a handful of new laws, which has created a situation in which unelected agencies and departments are doing most of the lawmaking. This is evident from looking at the sheer growth in the number of pages of the federal register, particularly during this administration,” said Crews in a statement.