Mnuchin downplays border tax, supports strong dollar

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House Speaker Paul Ryan and President Trump admitted that not repealing Obamacare's taxes (which the AHCA would have done) makes tax reform more hard.

And while Mnuchin is at least promising to continue fighting for full-blown tax reform, reports are filtering out of Congress about abandoning all the hard work of reform and replacing it with deficit-financed tax cuts.

"No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days", Trump says, and that includes on military, trade, regulation, government reform". Saved the banking system, reshaped the country and ended prohibition.

It doesn't mean that we've given up on it, but I would say that realistically it started as an aggressive timeline, and it's fair to say that it's probably delayed a bit because of the healthcare. Mnuchin said that stronger economic growth triggered by an overhaul could help offset projections of lost revenues from lower rates.

"The key for the market is still earnings, economic growth etc, and politics is merely a daily side show", said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago, Illinois.

Among the factors that could harm economic growth: a protectionist trade agenda, a faster-than-expected rate hike in the US, and an aggressive rollback of financial regulations, according to the IMF's report.

Mnuchin's comments were seen countering those of the president, who last week said the dollar was too strong, sending it reeling. He added, "As the world's currency, the primary reserve currency, I think that over long periods of time the strength of the dollar is a good thing...."

President Donald Trump said in an interview last week with Fox Business Network that he doesn't like the term "border adjustment".

Mr Mnuchin said the Trump administration viewed sanctions as a critical tool as he revealed that Treasury was poised to impose more than 200 sanctions on Syria after the recent gas attack that sparked a USA missile strike on Syria. Focus will also be on the US - Japan dialogue.

It was not that long before that the United States dollar had fallen to 108.14 against the yen, which was the lowest price since the middle of November; amid rising tensions over North Korea's heavy desire for Japan's safe currency. He also defended sanctions as a tool and called it of extreme importance. "It is one of the most important parts of my job", Mr Mnuchin said.

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