Incoming Treasury Secretary Eyes 3 to 4 Percent Growth; First Up, Tax Reform

By Susan Jones | November 30, 2016 | 10:01am EST
Steven Mnuchin, national finance chairman of President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, walks to lunch at Trump Tower, Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

( - Steven Mnuchin, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Treasury secretary, says he's ready to get to work: "Our number one priority is going to be the economy, get back to 3- to 4-percent growth -- we believe that's very sustainable -- and focus on things for the American worker, that's absolutely our priority."

Mnuchin spoke to reporters Wednesday on his way into Trump Tower in New York:

"Our first priority is going to be the tax plan," Mnuchin said. The Trump team wants to lower corporate tax rates to make US companies competitive; and it plans to repatriate trillions of dollars from companies that moved overseas during the Obama years.

Mnuchin also promised "the most significant middle-income tax cut since Reagan," and he said that will incorporate the child care program advocated by Ivanka Trump during her father's presidential campaign.

Mnuchin, asked about his lack of government experience, said he's been a regional banker for the last eight years: "And I know what it takes to make sure that we can make loans to small and mid-market companies, and that's going to be our big focus, making sure that we scale back regulation, so that we make sure the banks are lending."

On Trump's promised infrastructure program, Mnuchin said that also is a "big priority":  

"We need to make sure that our infrastructure is built for the 21st Century, that we have roads and bridges and power grids and infrastructure that support this country, and that's going to be a big focus. We'll be working with Congress and working with the different departments in the administration to make sure we figure out how to fund it in the most effective way.

He didn't go into detail but he did mention "public-private partnerships."

The stock market rallied Wednesday morning in early trading, as rising oil prices boosted energy stocks, sending the Dow Jones industrial average up to another all-time high.

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