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Trump's Treasury pick targets taxes, trade reforms: CNBC

WASHINGTON President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said on Wednesday 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.

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, in an interview on CNBC. Both men confirmed they had been tapped for the jobs.

“We think by cutting corporate taxes we’ll create huge economic growth and we’ll have huge personal income,” Mnuchin said in the interview.

Mnuchin and Ross said lower tax rates would be offset by reductions in the number of income tax deductions.

“Taxes are way too complicated and people spend way too much time worrying about ways to get them lower,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin and Ross said trade reform would be a top agenda item. Both men criticized regional trade pacts, saying they favor bilateral agreements with trade partners.

“We’ve been doing a lot of dumb trade,” Ross said.

Mnuchin said the Treasury and Commerce Departments have trade enforcement capabilities. With regard to China’s foreign exchange policy, he said, “If we determine we need to label them as a currency manipulator that’s something the Treasury would do.”

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu and Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Reuters