US Treasury's Mnuchin dials back Trump economic promises

Dollar rises underpinned by higher Treasury yields

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the administration is committed to getting major tax reform legislation through Congress by August.

"The number one issue is growth and the most important thing that will impact growth is a tax plan", Mnuchin said on CNBC in his first televised interview. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump unveiled a plan in which he proposed reducing income taxes, cutting taxes for corporations, closing the carried interest loophole, eliminating the estate tax and making childcare tax-deductible.

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He said he expects the administration to use optimistic economic growth forecasts of 3% or more when it estimates the cost of tax reform.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that the Trump administration could delay its infrastructure spending program until 2018 because US Congress already faces a heavy legislative schedule this year, with the tax reforms and the overhaul of Obamacare. "So I haven't held back", Trump said.

In an interview on Thursday, CNBC's Becky Quick asked Mnuchin whether he viewed the rally as a scorecard.




"We've been working closely with the leadership in the House and the Senate and we're looking at a combined plan", Mnuchin said.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was down over 2 basis points at 2.392 percent after hitting a two-week low. GOP lawmakers in the Senate have expressed opposition to a House proposal to replace the current 35 percent tax on corporate profits with a border adjustment tax. It would give tax breaks to manufacturers who export but raise the tax bills of companies that import goods.

"Absolutely", Mnuchin said. "This is a mark-to-market business, and you see what the market thinks".

In addition, Mnuchin has also said he would roll back key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010 to regulate Wall Street. "So it's something we're going to carefully look at".

"There's trillions of dollars offshore that will come back, and this will create jobs (and) this will create investment and we need to make sure our USA businesses are competitive", Mnuchin said.

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