President Barack Obama is calling on the Trump administration to step in and shut down some companies that violate federal environmental laws, a senior administration official told POLITICO on Friday.
The official said the president would be open to “all options” to do so if Trump administration officials were able to demonstrate that they could not enforce the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.
Trump’s administration has been embroiled in a public feud with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over a decision to impose a 45 percent tariff on China’s steel imports.
The president has also threatened to cut off funding to international climate agreements.
The Chamber, which has supported the president, has filed lawsuits in court to block some of the orders.
The administration official also said that, based on Trump’s comments to a gathering of business leaders on Thursday, “he’s very much open to taking actions on behalf of the American people.”
“It is important for the administration to show leadership in advancing the policies that are best for the American worker and the American economy,” the official said.
The White House and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce issued statements late Friday that said they had no plans to challenge the orders, but the Chamber has vowed to pursue legal challenges.
The order was signed by the Trump team on Friday, according to White House spokeswoman Jessica Rich.
It directs the Commerce Department to “take appropriate action” to revoke the orders if the companies fail to comply.
“If the United States fails to act, the president’s actions will be reviewed by the Office of the United State Trade Representative (USTR), which will determine whether to revoke an agency’s authority to issue the order,” the administration said.
“If we do not act quickly, these companies may have no choice but to cease operations,” the statement continued.
“Our companies must be able to continue to operate, whether in the United Kingdom, China, India, Mexico, Canada or elsewhere.”
In addition to the tariffs, the order orders the Treasury Department to begin enforcing an export license requirement that would make it more difficult for companies to ship U.N. relief supplies to the Philippines and other countries impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
The U.K. is the largest recipient of U.E. relief aid, receiving $1.6 billion, with China the largest beneficiary of the agreement, with $2.1 billion.
The Philippines has said it will not comply with the order and that the order would be interpreted as a “declaration of war.”
“There are many issues on the table between the United Nations and the Philippines, including how to provide assistance to the victims of the typhoon and whether to accept a loan from the U