U.S. President Donald Trump with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington, February 2017.
Jim Lo Scalzo / Pool / reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump has promised a bloodbath for regulations. He argues that regulatory overreach hinders commerce and stunts economic growth. Even if that’s true, he likely won’t be able to deliver what he promises by attacking the regulatory edifice alone. That’s because the companies that drive the U.S. economy are multinationals. They will still have to follow regulations elsewhere, which will mute the impact of killing those regulations at home. Indeed, the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act is a good example of how globalization will sap the power of Trump’s plan.

Section 1504 of Dodd-Frank is still formally law, but the regulations needed to implement it were spiked in February. These regulations required oil and gas producers and miners to publicly disclose all payments of more than $100,000 that they make to governments. The point was to curb corruption, because when financial

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  • MATT MOSSMAN is an emerging markets political risk specialist based in Washington, D.C.
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