President-elect Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, says the administration would target tax reform and trade pact overhauls as top priorities. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President-elect Donald Trump's pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on Wednesday (November 30) the administration would target tax reform and trade pact overhauls as top priorities as they seek to achieve 3 percent to 4 percent economic growth. "We believe that's (3 to 4 percent economic growth) very sustainable," Mnuchin told reporters. Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross, Trump's nominee for commerce secretary, outlined their agenda, including what Mnuchin called the largest tax overhaul since the Ronald Reagan administration. Both men confirmed they had been tapped for the jobs. Trump planned to announce the appointments, along with that of Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as Ross's deputy, later on Wednesday, transition officials said. Mnuchin and Ross reinforced the sweeping proposals Trump put forth in September to simplify the tax code and slash the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, cutting the top rate for all businesses from the present 35 percent. "The tax plan has both the corporate aspects to it, lowering corporate taxes so we make US companies the most competitive in the world, making sure we repatriate trillions of dollars back to the United States, and the personal income taxes where we're going to have the most significant middle income tax cut since Reagan," Mnuchin said. Tax experts have questioned Trump's assertion that the proposals would not add to the nation's debt and deficit. Mnuchin and Ross said lower tax rates would be offset by reductions in the number of income tax deductions. Trump, throughout his presidential campaign, pledged to redraw trade deals to win back American jobs. He has threatened Mexico and China with punitive tariffs in a move that some economists have warned could spark a trade war that could potentially roll back decades of liberalization. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence reached a deal with the parent company of Carrier Corp to keep to keep close to 1,000 jobs its air conditioner plan in Indianapolis, roughly halving the number of U.S. jobs it planned to move to Mexico. "I think it's terrific. The president-elect and the vice president picked up the phone and called the CEO of the United Technologies (Carrier's parent company) and told them we want to keep jobs here. Can't remember the last time a president did that and this is going to be a terrific opportunity," Mnuchin said. The deal, announced by Carrier on Twitter late on Tuesday (November 29), is a victory for Trump, who campaigned hard on keeping jobs in the United States and specifically criticized Carrier for shipping jobs overseas, messages which appealed to blue-collar workers in the Midwest.