Trump weighs billionaire Ross for commerce secretary
President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate as secretary of commerce investor Wilbur Ross, who became a billionaire by acquiring and restructuring troubled companies, according to a person familiar with the transition planning.
Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, is in line to be appointed as Ross’ deputy, the person said.
It’s not clear if Trump has formally offered the jobs. Ross declined to comment.
Ross would oversee a sprawling agency of almost 47,000 employees across the U.S. and around the world that describes itself as “the voice of U.S. business within the president’s Cabinet.”
Ross, 78, was a longtime Democrat who turned conservative and backed Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012. He emerged as an advocate for Trump’s trade and economic agenda when the real-estate developer was still seen as a long shot against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Ross, in an interview with CNBC in June, called for “a more radical, new approach to the government” to help middle-class and lower middle-class Americans who have “not really benefited by the last 10 to 15 years of economic activity and they’re sick and tired of it.”
Ross’ seminal deal, starting in 2002, cobbled once-iconic steel-making companies into International Steel Group Inc. He and his backers in 2004 announced the sale of the Ohio-based firm for about $4.5 billion to Indian-born, U.K.-based steel billionaire Lakshmi Mittal, reaping more than an eightfold profit of about $2.9 billion.