Mnuchin says tax reform ‘much simpler’ than healthcare bill

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With the Trump administration’s plans for repealing Obamacare in serious jeopardy on Capitol Hill, the US Treasury secretary said on Friday that tax reform will be much simpler.

Steven Mnuchin’s remarks at an Axios event in Washington come as lawmakers in the US House of Representatives continue to haggle over the American Health Care Act, a centerpiece of Donald Trump’s campaign promise to get rid of what he and many Republicans see as a failed attempt by the Obama administration to improve the $3tn US healthcare system.

The pivot to taxes is important to investors who have sent risk assets, like stocks, soaring amid expectations that fiscal stimulus will lift economic growth and inflation. The setbacks for the healthcare bill — which was initially slated for a Thursday vote before a late-hour delay — had begun to spark concern on Wall Street that other promises may not come to fruition.

Mr Mnuchin also said that he does not expect the administration to take a protectionist stance on trade, “so long as we can renegotiate deals that are good for us”.

The former hedge fund manager and Hollywood producer weighed in on the health of the commander-in-chief. He said of Mr Trump:

He’s got perfect genes. He has incredible energy and he’s unbelievably healthy.

He added that Mr Trump had stopped eating food from KFC, the fried-chicken chain, and McDonald’s in favour of “great” White House food.

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