Carl Icahn to advise Trump on regulatory reform

Carl Icahn Image copyright Getty Images

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn is to advise Donald Trump on regulatory reform.

Mr Trump's transition team said Mr Icahn was "one of President-elect Trump's earliest supporters".

His "help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable," Mr Trump said.

The US president-elect has been criticised for placing a preponderance of billionaires and millionaires in positions of power.

Mr Icahn said: "I am proud to serve President-elect Trump as a special advisor on regulatory reform."

He said that US business owners have been "crippled by over $1tn in new regulations".

He added: "It's time to break free of excessive regulation and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities."

Mr Icahn will not be a federal employee. He will help choose the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Critics have said that Mr Trump's cabinet, which contains a number of billionaires and millionaires, may have different policy priorities on, for example, the minimum wage than the average US citizen.

Drew Courtney of liberal pressure group People for the American Way said:

"Trump is, again, filling the swamp with alligators. Billionaire Icahn knows how to look out for his bottom line, not American workers.

"He's yet another Trump appointee who seeks to profit on the backs of working families."

Defence costs

On Wednesday Mr Trump also had a meeting with Dennis Muilenburg, the chief executive of Boeing, and Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin to talk about the defence firms' charges for US government projects.

"Trying to get the costs down, costs. Primarily the [Lockheed Martin] F-35, we're trying to get the cost down. It's a programme that's very, very expensive," Mr Trump said after the meeting at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Since winning the 8 November election, Mr Trump has complained about the companies about projects he said are too expensive, sending defence shares down.

After the meeting, Mr Muilenburg said: "We work on Air Force One because it's important to our country, and we're going to make sure that he [Mr Trump] gets the best capability, and that it's done affordably."

At the beginning of December Mr Trump tweeted that he wanted to cut costs by cancelling the order for new planes to carry the American president, saying Air Force One cost more than $4bn.

A White House spokesman cast doubt on that figure.

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