Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin tells Fox Business Network that “we will use [sanctions] to the maximum amount we can under law to make sure that entities do not support terrorism”

In an interview on FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Mornings with Maria (weekdays, 6a-9a/ET), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses tax deductions for Americans, his plan to sustain sanction programs, border adjustment tax, and creating economic growth with host Maria Bartiromo.

Steven Mnuchin
Image source: FBN Video Screenshot

Excerpts from the interview are below:

Steven Mnuchin: Most Americans will be able to fill out taxes on large postcard

Steven Mnuchin on border tax: In current form it doesn’t work

Steven Mnuchin: Sanctions programs very important to national security

Steven Mnuchin on his plan to sustain sanction programs around the world:

“I probably have spent 50 percent of my time on that.  The sanctions programs are very important.  They’re a very important tool in our national security.  That’s why I work very closely with the rest of the National Security Council.   And, as you know, we just came out with 250 new sanctions on Syrian entities.  We’ve come out with sanctions on North Korea.  We’ve been administering the Iran sanctions and the Russia sanctions.   These are very important programs that we work very hard at Treasury and work very closely with the intelligence community… The sanctions are about making sure that where people are supporting terrorist activities or weapons of mass destruction that we are cutting them off from the U.S. financial system, and we are encouraging our partners around the world to do the same thing. Primary sanctions are where they’re cut off from the U.S. system, and where, on occasion, we put out secondary sanctions, which are very, very powerful.  And what secondary sanctions say is that institutions must honor them or they’re cut off from the U.S. financial system, which you know is a major part of the world economy. So these are very, very important tools we have at Treasury.  And we will use them to the maximum amount we can under the law to make sure that entities do not support terrorism.”

On tax deductions:

“Well, let me just say, for most Americans, they’ll be able to fill out their taxes on a large postcard and will use the standard deductions.  The special deductions and all these things are really for rich people.  And we’re going to cut a lot of that back.  And as it relates to the states, we don’t think that the federal government should be in the business of subsidizing the states.  The states should be able to decide what they want to charge in income taxes.  And, again, part of tax simplification is getting rid of lots of deductions.”

On whether border adjustment tax is off the table:

“Again, we’ve been working with the House committees on this.  And what we said to Chairman Brady is, in its current form, it doesn’t work, that we have a lot of concerns about it. Although there’s aspects that we like and we’ll continue to have those discussions if he wants to make changes to it.  But this is about ultimately when we come out with a plan, and we’re working very closely with the House and Senate, is something that the three of us agree on, that can get passed, and get to the president’s desk as quick as we can for him to sign so that we can create economic growth and jobs, jobs, jobs for the American people.”

On the components for creating economic growth:

“Well, there’s really three components to what we see as the economic plan.  The first is taxes, tax reform.  This is the largest business tax cut and personal simplification, the largest changes to the tax code.  The second aspect of this is regulation.  I think, as you know, we’re working hard on both financial regulation, but on regulation across the board.  And the third component is trade.  And those three pieces are what we see creating economic growth.

And on the tax side, what we said all along, this is about simplifying personal taxes.  It’s about creating a middle income tax cut.  And it’s about making business taxes competitive.  We have one of the highest corporate business rates in the world.  We have a concept of worldwide taxing and deferrals.  And we’re going to change all that.  We’re going to make U.S. business competitive.”