Trump Announces Picks for Treasury and Commerce

Steven Mnuchin speaks to reporters after meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday. Steven Mnuchin speaks to reporters after meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday. Richard Drew/AP

Donald Trump has chosen Steven Mnuchin to serve as secretary of the treasury and Wilbur Ross to serve as secretary of commerce, according to a statement released Wednesday morning by the president-elect’s transition team.

“Steve Mnuchin is a world-class financier, banker, and businessman, and has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs,” Trump said. “His expertise and pro-growth ideas make him the ideal candidate to serve as secretary of the treasury.”

Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, has no government experience, but that’s not unusual for a treasury secretary. As my colleague Bourree Lam noted, the post “requires expertise that only insiders tend to possess,” and “historically the position’s appointees have been mixed in terms of professional background: Six of the past 15 Treasury Secretaries came from Wall Street, and two of those—Henry Paulson and Robert Rubin—came from Goldman Sachs.”

Ross, who was also reportedly considered for the treasury post, is the chairman of W.L. Ross & Co., a private-equity firm. Trump called him “a champion of American manufacturing” who “knows how to help companies succeed.”

During his presidential campaign, Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., and railed against his rival Hillary Clinton’s ties to Wall Street. But his Cabinet is shaping up to be a team of political and business insiders.

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