Mnuchin, Ross confirm nominations for Treasury, Commerce

Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross early Wednesday confirmed that President-elect Donald Trump has selected them to lead the Treasury and Commerce departments, respectively.

Mnuchin and Ross spoke on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Steven Mnuchin

Steven Mnuchin

Mnuchin, who served as the national finance chairman of Trump’s campaign, told CNBC that tax reform will help drive economic growth at a sustained rate of 3 to 4 percent.

He has never worked in government and has close ties to Hollywood and Wall Street. The former partner at Goldman Sachs founded the hedge fund Dune Capital Management and invested in the movie business.

Jessica Mackler, president of the liberal super PAC American Bridge, blasted the pick after initial reports late Tuesday, saying Trump “cheered on the housing crisis” and profited from “people’s misery and foreclosures.”

“Of course he’d want Steve Mnuchin, who’s company made $3 billion off the housing crisis and was responsible for more than a third of all reverse mortgage foreclosures, to be his Treasury Secretary,” Mackler said in the statement. “Putting a Wall Street CEO in charge of his Administration’s oversight of Wall Street is dangerous and even more proof that Donald Trump is only interested in protecting corporations at the expense of working families.”

Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross

Ross is chairman and chief strategist of private equity firm W.L. Ross & Co. He made his wealth by buying and restructuring companies within the manufacturing and steel industries.

Ross, a former banker, has invested in various industrial businesses throughout his career. He formed International Coal Group, which owned a West Virginia mine that exploded in 2006, killing 12 miners.

Trump ran his presidential campaign with promises to rebuild industries like coal and steel. The president-elect has promised to overturn or renegotiate trade deals he says have taken manufacturing jobs overseas.

Ross served as an economic adviser to Trump during his campaign for the presidency.

According to his Forbes profile, Ross is worth $2.9 billion.

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