President Barack Obama ordered a review of U.S. regulations to remove or overhaul those that stifle economic expansion without helping consumers, advancing his outreach to the business community.

Obama, in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, wrote that he is mandating “a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.”

The initiative is part of an executive order he signed yesterday, which would codify a “balanced” approach to regulation.

The president has sought to counter perceptions that his administration is insensitive to business interests, appointing a former corporate executive as his new chief of staff and planning to speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 7. While the American recession ended in June 2009, employers have yet to step up hiring enough to pull the jobless rate below 9.4 percent.

Administration officials said the president’s main goals in issuing the order were getting agencies to find the lowest cost and least burdensome path in writing regulations.

The review will involve possibly thousands of existing rules, the officials said. Agencies have 120 days to provide a list of those they plan to look over and possibly eliminate.