President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Todd Ricketts for Deputy Secretary of Commerce.
Ricketts, a Trump backer and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, was announced as Trump's pick Wednesday among other selections for key Cabinet roles.
“Todd Ricketts is an immensely successful businessman with unparalleled knowledge of the finance industry,” Trump said in his announcement. “As Deputy Commerce Secretary he will help us cut waste and streamline government so that it works for the people of America. The incredible job he and the Ricketts family did in the purchase and turnaround of the Chicago Cubs – one perfect step after another, leading to the World Championship, is what I want representing our people. I am very proud to have him on our team.”
"I am honored that President-elect Donald J. Trump has asked me to serve our country at this critical juncture in our history," Ricketts said in a statement Wednesday. "Advancing practical policies that promote economic opportunity is critical to making America great again. I'm eager to begin this important work and serving with Wilbur Ross to implement President-elect Trump's economic agenda, which will improve the lives of all Americans."
Trump also announced Wednesday morning his intent to nominate former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as secretary of the Treasury and investor Wilbur Ross as Commerce secretary. The pair had appeared on on CNBC earlier Wednesday to confirm that Trump intended to nominate them to the cabinet.
Mnuchin, 53, led Trump's finance operations during the presidential campaign and became close to the president-elect and his family. In the official announcement, Trump cited "his expertise and pro-growth ideas," along with flipping Pasadena-based IndyMac Bank at a nearly $2 billion profit, as reasons to select him.
In reaction to Trump's announcment Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, said in a statement:
“President-elect Trump campaigned against big money’s power in Washington and accused Wall Street and hedge funds of ‘getting away with murder.’ But now he has picked a hedge-fund manager whose Wall Street ties couldn’t run deeper to lead the Treasury Department, which is exactly what this election showed the American people don’t want. This isn’t draining the swamp -- it’s stocking it with alligators.”
If confirmed by the Senate, Mnuchin would play a central role in shaping Trump's tax policies and infrastructure plans. He would also lead an agency tasked with implementing international economic sanctions.
He has no government experience, which could prove a hurdle in navigating the tricky politics of Washington.
A business leader and ardent Trump supporter, Ross made billions restructuring failed companies and was known for his work in the coal and steel companies, two industries that Trump promised to revive on the campaign trail.
Like Trump, Ross is a critic of free trade deals. Trump called Ross a great negotiator and "champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed."
Both Mnuchin and Ross are longtime Democratic donors, but they each came out early in support of Trump during this election cycle, NBC News reports.
On Tuesday, Trump announced former labor secretary Elaine Chao as his top choice to lead the Transportation Department and Georgia Rep. Tom Price, a leading critic of Obamacare, as his top pick for Health and Human Services.