Presidency: Trump to step back from business

United States President-elect Donald Trump vowed on Wednesday to step back from running his business empire to avoid conflicts of interest, while turning to Wall Street for nominees for two key economic leadership posts who promised tax reform and a tougher approach to China, Reuters has reported.

Trump sent out a series of early morning tweets saying he will hold a news conference in New York on December 15 with his children on how he will separate himself “in total” from his worldwide business holdings.

Steve Mnuchin, a private equity investor, hedge fund manager and Hollywood financier, and billionaire Wilbur Ross, who heads a private equity firm, appeared on CNBC and confirmed their nominations to be Treasury secretary and Commerce secretary, respectively. The Trump transition team announced the nominations on Wednesday morning.

Transition sources also said Trump had chosen Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy commerce secretary.

Mnuchin and Ross laid out Trump’s economic objectives, including a tax reform plan that would, among other things, cut corporate tax rates to 15 percent.

“We think by cutting corporate taxes we’ll create huge economic growth and we’ll have huge personal income,” Mnuchin said on CNBC.

Mnuchin and Ross said lower tax rates would be offset by reductions in the number of income tax deductions.

They said trade reform would be a top agenda item. Both men criticized regional trade pacts, saying they favour bilateral agreements with trade partners.

“We’ve been doing a lot of dumb trade,” Ross said.