Billionaire investor and Palm Beach resident Wilbur Ross is President-elect Donald Trump‘s pick to be secretary of Commerce, the Trump transition team announced this morning.
Ross, 78, is chairman and chief strategy officer of private-equity firm W.L. Ross & Co., which has specialized in buying failing companies. He was Trump’s top economic adviser on trade policy during the campaign. Ross, a $274,400 contributor to the Republican National Committee over the past two years, was also a vice chairman of the “2016 Trump Victory leadership team,” which raised money for Trump and the RNC.
Ross is one of two Palm Beach County residents who could serve in Trump’s Cabinet. Retired neurosurgeon and former GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson, mentioned as a potential secretary of Housing and Urban Development, lives in Palm Beach Gardens.
Ross’s home on the Intracoastal Waterway, assigned a market value of $23 million on the Palm Beach County property tax rolls, is about a mile from Trump’s second home at Mar-a-Lago.
“Wilbur Ross is a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed. Most importantly, he is one of the greatest negotiators I have ever met, and that comes from me, the author of The Art of the Deal. Together, we will take on the special interests and stand up for American jobs,” Trump said in a statement released this morning.
“Wilbur knows that cutting taxes for working families, reducing burdensome government regulations and unleashing America’s energy resources will strengthen our economy at a time when our country needs to see significant growth. I am proud to nominate him as Secretary of Commerce.”
The Ross announcement came at the same time Trump announced Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary and Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts as deputy Commerce secretary.
“I am delighted to have been selected to join President-elect Trump’s Cabinet and look forward to working especially closely with Steve Mnuchin to implement the economic programs which we have developed jointly to implement the President-elect’s strategy for accelerating our economic growth,” Ross said.