The Latest: Trump’s treasury chief says rates stay low, now




WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

8:53 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump's pick for treasury secretary says he expects U.S. interest rates to stay "relatively low for the next couple of years" — but eventually they will rise.

Steven Mnuchin tells CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the country is in a period of low rates that "have come up a little bit, which I think makes sense."

He's putting people on notice that "eventually we are going to have higher interest rates and that's something that this country is going to need to deal with."

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen has suggested that the central bank is on track to raise interest rates when policymakers hold their final meeting of the year next month.

Yellen has said she has no plans to step down before her four-year term ends in early 2018.

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8:27 a.m.

Key members of Donald Trump's economic team are promising major changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank law Congress passed to prevent another financial crisis.

Critics say the law went too far to hinder banks from making loans that people and businesses need to spend and hire.

The president-elect's pick for treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, says loans are "the engine of growth" for small- and medium-sized businesses, and that the fallout from Dodd-Frank has been a cutting back on lending.

Mnuchin tells CNBC's "Squawk Box" that the incoming administration wants to "strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending, and that'll be the number one priority on the regulatory side."

And Trump's choice for commerce secretary, financier Wilbur Ross, blames the law for putting banks in a position where he says "they now have more compliance people than they have lending officers."

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8:05 a.m.

Nigel Farage, former leader of Britain's anti-EU right-wing party, says he and President-elect Donald Trump wouldn't have achieved their goals without social media.

Farage says the internet means governments "simply can't lie to us any more in the way they used to."

He says "nobody has made better use on the internet" than he did, adding "Trump has done exactly the same thing."

Farage told an international broadcast news industry conference on Wednesday his right-wing UK Independence Party "would never, ever" had gotten "off the ground" and UKIP wouldn't "have been any more than a little fringe party had it not been for YouTube."

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7:53 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has filled more top posts on his economic team — picking former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and financier Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.

Mnuchin is confirming that he and Ross are joining Trump's Cabinet, pending confirmation by the Senate.

He tells CNBC's "Squawk Box" in an interview Wednesday that "we're thrilled to work for the president-elect and honored to have these positions."

Mnuchin says "sustained economic growth" is the chief priority of the incoming administration and he says "we can absolutely get to sustained 3 to 4 percent" in the gross domestic product.

He's also outlining what he calls "the largest tax change" since President Ronald Reagan — cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, a "big" middle-class income tax cut and simplifying taxes.

Mnuchin led Trump's finance operations during the presidential campaign and became close to the president-elect and his family.

Ross is a billionaire investor who's considered the "king of bankruptcy" for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits.

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7:00 a.m.

Donald Trump says he's leaving his "great business" so he can focus on being the nation's 45th president.

Trump tweeted early Wednesday that legal documents are being crafted to "take me completely out of business operations," adding, "the presidency is a far more important task!"

Trump had been under criticism for exposing himself to potential conflicts if he kept a role in his global business while being president.

He says he'll hold a news conference with his children on the subject on Dec. 15.

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3:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is tapping conservatives with deep ties to Washington and Wall Street to fill out key Cabinet roles as he continues to deliberate over his secretary of state.

Trump is moving forward with nominations, including former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin (meh-NEW'-chen) as secretary of the Treasury.

Mnuchin's official announcement is expected as early as Wednesday, according to a person familiar with the decision who insisted on anonymity in order to confirm the pick ahead of time.

Trump on Tuesday chose Georgia Rep. Tom Price to oversee the nation's health care system, picking a fierce "Obamacare" critic who has championed efforts to privatize Medicare. And he selected another veteran Republican, Elaine Chao (chow), a former labor secretary, to lead the Department of Transportation.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Trump is holding a news conference with his children, not leaving business to his children.
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