Is it transactions that are not protected and/or regulated by legislation, or are the goods and services being exchanged somehow harmful to recipients or consumers? Contaminated food stuffs might be an example of the latter. But, most commonly and globally “illicit” is a charge levied against individual traders who have failed to get someone’s permission or authorization.
Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy went around the country lecturing about how permits and licenses have to be issued when applied for. So, while I read that as a caution against relying on premitting procedures to prevent the contamination of the natural environmnet, Kennedy likely meant to be reassuring and affirm that permitting is merely part of the general government agenda to be helpful to the corporate commercial and industrial sector.
In that context, Trump’s dismantling of the regulatory bureaucracy is not as much of a negative as it appears. If regulators and regulations are removed because they annoy corporations or because they do not prevent bad behavior does not much matter. What will matter is whether the orientation of federal agencies towards exploitation will be redirected towards health, welfare and preservation. Will we be looking to share or compete to destroy?