Amid President-elect Donald Trump’s team beginning to take shape, it seems to be just another day at the office for his designated Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
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“We were very much a team during the campaign and we’ve known each other for quite a few years so this is nothing new. Working together is going to be one of the hallmarks of this administration,” said Wilbur Ross to the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo.
“We are going to have an integrated plan and work closely between commerce and treasury to make sure that we drive growth in this country. Our number one priority is sustained 3-4% GDP,” added Mnuchin.
Furthermore, Mnuchin said tax reform would be significant to attaining economic growth and promised the “largest tax change” since Ronald Reagan. This includes cutting the corporate tax rate to 15%, a “big” middle-class income tax cut and simplifying taxes for the wealthy to spur investment.
“If you look at Apple… They are sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and they go out and borrow money against their overseas bank accounts. This makes no sense… So we think there is going to be hundreds of billions if not trillions of dollars that’s going to come back and that’s going to create infrastructure and create jobs,” Mnuchin said.
When it comes to how quickly these tax reforms can be made, he added: “We’re already sitting down and discussing this with Congress and this is going to be something that absolutely happens within the first 90 days of this presidency.”
Regulation would be Mnuchin’s second priority, starting with a reevaluation of Dodd-Frank.
“There [are] many aspects of it that prevents banks from lending and we need to make sure that banks lend. We want to see huge growth in this economy in small- and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
Wilbur Ross said in his first months as Commerce Secretary he would assess trade agreements, citing “a need to fix the old ones” and “enter into some new ones.” He plans to pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and promises to focus on bilateral negotiations, rather than regional deals.
“It’s a flawed agreement…It’s fine to say that it’s a multi-country agreement. Theoretically that means you’re objecting big trade barriers against people outside of that agreement but that the reality is, under TPP, a majority of the content of a car could come from outside TPP,” he said.
In Ross’s opinion, “all you have to do is change the environment,” if you want to keep jobs and investment in the U.S.
“If we have fair grounds in terms of international trade, if we have proper economic incentives within the U.S. and don’t have an overly taxed system – it’s not going to be that hard,” he said.