U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Thursday that President Donald Trump’s highly anticipated tax reform plan will be carried out this year.
Mnuchin and National Economic Council director Gary Cohn spoke at the Institute of International Finance Washington policy summit, each assuring the audience that the administration’s campaign promise has not been lost amid the currently divided Congress
“We’re pretty close to being able to bring forward what’s going to be major tax reform,” Mnuchin said, adding the bill will be out “very soon.” “We hope this won’t take until the end of the year. We’re very focused on it.”
Cohn explained that the core principles of tax reform will be simplifying the tax code, cutting rates and using the tax code to make America more competitive.
“We’re going to come up with a united and unified tax policy,” he said.
In February, Mnuchin said the tax reform bill would be signed by August, but earlier this week he gave a less positive outlook during an interview with The Financial Times, saying that “aggressive” timeline “will probably delayed a bit because of … health care.”
Mnuchin on Thursday also addressed the controversial border-adjustment tax, which is a proposed 20 percent tariff on goods produced outside the United States and sold domestically. He said the Trump administration is still on the fence about the plan and has concerns over how it could impact the U.S. dollar.
While Cohn underscored the administration’s intent of completing health care first, followed by tax reform and then infrastructure, Mnuchin said tax reform will be completed regardless of the outcome of the health care bill.
“Whether health care gets done or health care doesn’t get done. We’re going to get tax reform done,” he said.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, there was some revived conversations on the health care front as House Republicans introduced a new amendment to the bill. A White House source said there could be a vote on the revised legislation as early as next week.
U.S. stocks received a boost from the positive health care news and optimistic rhetoric out of the administration Thursday, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged more than 170 points by the close of the trading day.