US President-elect Donald Trump announced his pick of billionaire investor Carl Icahn as his special adviser for regulatory reform. The 80-year-old Icahn, a well-known figure on Wall Street, has devoted himself for decades to participating in big companies and forcing changes in them, Efe news reported.
“Carl was with me from the beginning, and with his being one of the world’s great businessmen, that was something I truly appreciated,” Trump said in a statement on Wednesday made public by the transition team.
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“He is not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future, especially having to do with finances and economies. His help on the strangling regulations that our country is faced with will be invaluable,” the president-elect added.
Icahn, meanwhile, said in the statement that “Under President (Barack) Obama, America’s business owners have been crippled by over $1 trillion in new regulations and over 750 billion hours dealing with paperwork.”
“It’s time to break free of excessive regulation and let our entrepreneurs do what they do best: create jobs and support communities,” the hedge fund mogul added.
Icahn, a New Yorker like Trump, is considered to be one of the world’s most influential investors and his market moves and opinions have long been closely followed in the financial markets.
Forbes magazine calculates that Icahn is worth some $16.7 billion.
The post of adviser is not an official government position, and thus Icahn will be able to continue with his business activities while advising Trump without encountering any apparent conflicts of interest.
Also on Wednesday, Trump named Peter Navarro, an economist and a professor, to head the newly-created National Trade Council at the White House.
It marked the first time that there would be a council within the White House focusing on American manufacturing and American workers, and it would work together with three other offices at the White House: the National Security Council, the National Economic Council, and the Domestic Policy Council, according to the President-elect’s transition team.