US & Canada

Trump says Mnuchin will fight for tax cuts and jobs

Former investment banker Steven Mnuchin participates in a swearing-in ceremony at the White House. 13 Feb 2017 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Trump says Steven Mnuchin will make the US a "jobs magnet"

Former banker and hedge fund manager Steven Mnuchin has been sworn in as US treasury secretary following his confirmation by the Senate.

President Donald Trump said Mr Mnuchin had spent his career making money in the private sector and would now work for the taxpayer.

Mr Mnuchin pledged to create jobs and combat terrorist financing.

Democrats had argued that Mr Mnuchin had made a fortune foreclosing on families during the financial crisis.

The top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters of California, called Mr Mnuchin "the foreclosure king".

His critics have also questioned whether he is too close to the Wall Street banking community, which he will be responsible for regulating.

Democrats also complained that Mr Mnuchin had failed to disclose nearly $100m (£79m) in assets when he filed with the Senate Finance Committee.

Mr Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs before becoming a hedge fund manager.

He later founded a film production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

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Media captionSteve Mnuchin: Who is Trump's new treasury secretary?

Mr Trump said Mr Mnuchin would help make the US a "jobs magnet".

"He'll work 24 hours a day, I know him. He'll work 28 hours a day if they give him the extra four hours," he said.

Another former Goldman executive, Gary Cohn, is the director of President Trump's National Economic Council.

What do we know about the new treasury secretary's policy plans?

Mr Mnuchin hasn't announced a fully fledged plan, but his responses in media interviews and during the Senate debate over his appointment make clear some of his priorities:

  • Tax reform involving lower tax rates for businesses and the middle classes
  • He predicts tax reform will trigger economic growth rates of 3-4%
  • He is "100% committed" to enforcing sanctions on Russia, he told the Senate
  • Roll back Dodd-Frank regulations that limited banks conduct following the financial crisis
  • The "long-term strength" of the dollar is important, he says.

There are still many policy areas that have not been addressed, including how he will approach trading relations with China, Mexico and other partners.

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