The U.S. economy won’t achieve the Trump administration’s 3 percent growth goal this year and not until all of its tax, regulatory, trade and energy policies are fully in place, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday.
Ross also said trade enforcement actions would be a major tool to cut U.S. trade deficits, adding that he has problems with World Trade Organization rules which allow widely divergent tariffs and are slow to punish violators.
The 3 percent growth target “is certainly not achievable this year,” Ross told Reuters in an interview. “The Congress has been slow-walking everything. We don’t even have half the people in place.”
But Ross said the growth target ultimately could be achieved in the year after all of President Donald Trump’s business-friendly policies are implemented. He noted that delays were possible if the push for tax cuts was slowed down in Congress.
“I think between the change in regulatory attitudes which will make it easier to make big projects, and the new taxes, which will make the rates of return much better, the reduced regulatory environment, I think over time you will see increases in capex – and that in turn has a big multiplier effect through the economy,” Ross said.