A 15 percent corporate tax rate backed by President Donald Trump may not be possible, but businesses will see a "competitive" rate as Republicans push their tax reform plan through Congress, the US treasury secretary said on Tuesday.
CNBCs Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin interview Steven Mnuchin, the 77th United States Secretary of the Treasury, at the CNBC Institutional Investor Delivering Alpha conference September 12th in NYC.
"We want to make sure that we encourage jobs, so that is something we're still working on", he said.
Equifax announced last week that it learned on July 29 that hackers had infiltrated its systems in mid-May, pilfering names, birthdays, addresses as well as Social Security and driver's license numbers. "But we're going to get this down to a very competitive level", Mnuchin said.
Mnuchin said the White House is looking for a longer-term budget deal but is at the point where it will take the best deal it can get, with the goal of avoiding a shutdown.
Pressed on whether lowering the corporate tax rate to the mid-20s would be acceptable, Mnuchin demurred, but he said that simply passing tax reform would be a "win".
However, if the party's bill was passed, Republicans would still face significant difficulties, including how the party would anticipate adjusting the budget in light of the massive amounts of revenue it had just lost to it as a result of the tax cuts.
But the ex-banker said that one of Trump's campaign promises - changing how hedge funds pay Uncle Sam, and effectively making them pay more - is still on the table. Eliminating those provisions, in general, would affect high-tax blue states like NY and California.
Mnuchin, who had insisted earlier on Tuesday that tax overhaul would be a certainty before year's end, told CNBC that backdating was "something we are considering and it would be a big boon for the economy".
Democrats have also been deeply skeptical of the Trump administration's plans to repeal the estate tax, which it has said has been harmful to family farmers.