World Bank: U.S. Regulations More Business-Friendly Than Other Region's

10/24/2011 11:08 am ET | Updated Dec 24, 2011

As U.S. politicians wrangle over the best way to create jobs and spur economic growth, one international agency is indicating that changing the regulatory environment may not be the answer.

The U.S. ranks in the top five of countries with the most business-friendly regulations, a recent report from the World Bank finds. America's regulations are more business-friendly than those of European, African, Latin-American and most Asian countries, according to the report.

Still, even though the U.S. may be more business-friendly than other regions when it comes to regulations that may not be enough for some; three-quarters of Americans say that businesses are over-regulated and that the rules push jobs overseas, according to a survey published last month by the Tarrance Group.

Republican leaders have been critical of what they view as excessive regulation that is preventing businesses from hiring. But Treasury Department officials wrote in a blog post Monday that the data doesn’t support the notion that over-regulation is what's holding businesses back, Politico reports.

After President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan was rejected earlier this month , curbing regulations was among the counterproposals put forward by Republicans to jumpstart job growth. Employers added only 103,000 jobs in September barely enough to keep pace with population growth.

Republican presidential candidates as well as GOP Senate leaders are proposing weakening environmental protections as one answer to the stalled economy, according to economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Other targets include regulations relating to mercury emissions from power plants, rules governing working with lead paint and regulations relating to the transport of alien snakes over state lines, according to the Center for American Progress.

Though GOP leaders are taking aim at regulations as a way to boost business spending and job growth, one study indicates that some regulations may actually provide economic benefits. Implementing a clean fuels standard in Northeast could spur job growth in the area in ten years, according to a study from the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management released in August.

Still some business leaders say that regulation is keeping them from hiring. The National Federation of Independent Businesses -- a small business advocacy group -- launched an initiative called Small Businesses for Sensible Regulation. According to the group, more than 90 percent of their members in Florida say federal regulations are hindering their operations.