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First on CNBC: CNBC Transcript: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Sits Down with CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box” Today

WHEN: Today, Thursday, February 23rd

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a FIRST ON CNBC interview with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and CNBC's Becky Quick on CNBC's "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Thursday, February 23rd live from the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C. Following is a link to the full interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000595630.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

BECKY QUICK: I WANT TO THANK THE TREASURY SECRETARY FOR TAKING THIS TIME TO SIT DOWN WITH US. STEVEN MNUCHIN IS THE NEW TREASURY SECRETARY THE 77THTREASURY SECRETARY. THIS IS YOUR FIRST SIT-DOWN TELEVISION INTERVIEW SINCE TAKING OVER IN THAT SPOT MR SECRETARY. I WANT TO THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US AND INVITING US INTO THE BUILDING.

STEVEN MNUCHIN: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

QUICK: AS JOE MENTIONED, THERE ARE A LOT OF QUESTIONS PEOPLE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU. THERE'S BEEN HUGE DEBATE ABOUT SOME OF THESE ISSUES. ONE THING I'D LIKE TO CLEAR UP FIRST AND FOREMOST IS HOW YOU PRONOUNCE YOUR NAME. I'VE HEARD IT PRONOUNCED 15 DIFFERENT WAYS BY PEOPLE WHO SWEAR THEY KNOW YOUR FAMILY. MNUCHIN?

MNUCHIN: I'LL GO WITH MNUCHIN. PERFECT.

QUICK: JUST FOR THE RECORD SO WE CLEAR IT UP AND GET IT RIGHT ON OUR AIR.

MNUCHIN: AND STEVEN. NOT STEVE.

QUICK: STEVEN MNUCHIN SO EVERYONE KNOW IT SINCE WE HAVE BUTCHERED IT A FEW TIMES THROUGH HERE. SIR, I THINK THE THING THAT'S MOST IMPORTANT TO THE MARKETS IS WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH TAX REFORM. YESTERDAY PRESIDENT TRUMP SAID WE COULD EXPECT TO SEE A PLAN MAYBE THE BEGINNING TO MIDDLE OF MARCH. HE SAID IT'S VERY WELL FINALIZED AT THIS POINT. I JUST WONDER, DOES IT RESEMBLE THE HOUSE PLAN? WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE PLAN AT THIS POINT?

MNUCHIN: LET ME FIRST SAY THAT OUR ECONOMIC AGENDA, THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE IS GROWTH AND THE FIRST, MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT WILL IMPACT GROWTH IS A TAX PLAN. SO WE ARE COMMITTED TO PASS TAX REFORM. IT WILL BE VERY SIGNIFICANT. IT'S GOING TO BE FOCUSED ON MIDDLE INCOME TAX CUTS, SIMPLIFICATION, AND MAKING THE BUSINESS TAX COMPETITIVE WITH THE REST OF THE WORLD, WHICH HAS BEEN A BIG PROBLEM AND A LOT OF REASONS WHY COMPANIES ARE LEAVING AND CASH IS SITTING OFFSHORE. SO THAT'S REALLY OUR FOCUS. WE WANT TO GET THIS DONE BY THE AUGUST RECESS. WE'VE BEEN WORKING CLOSELY WITH THE LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, AND WE'RE WORKING ON A COMBINED PLAN.

QUICK: LET'S BREAK DOWN SOME OF THE SPECIFICS YOU JUST MENTIONED. GROWTH BEING THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. YOU'VE TALKED ABOUT HOW YOU THINK WE CAN GET BACK TO 3% GDP, MAYBE BETTER THAN THAT. HOW DO WE DO THAT?

MNUCHIN: I THINK IT'S VERY ACHIEVABLE. IF YOU LOOK AT LONG-TERM GROWTH, WE HAVE UNDERPERFORMED WHERE WE NEED TO BE. WE BELIEVE WE CAN BE COMPETITIVE AND GET BACK TO SUSTAINABLE GROWTH AT 3% OR MORE. THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF THINGS THAT WILL IMPACT IT. I THINK THE FIRST ISSUE, AS I MENTIONED, IS GOING TO BE TAX REFORM. I THINK THE OTHER ISSUE IS GOING TO BE REGULATORY RELIEF. WE NEED TO CUT BACK REGULATIONS THAT HAVE PREVENTED SMALL AND MEDIUM-SIZED BUSINESSES FROM BEING THE ENGINE OF GROWTH IN THIS COUNTRY. WE'RE ALSO FOCUSED, AS YOU KNOW, ON DODD-FRANK AND LOOKING AT DODD-FRANK AND MAKING SURE BANKS CAN LEND. THERE'S AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT OF LIQUIDITY OUT THERE. WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT BANKS PUT IT TO WORK.

QUICK: IF WE STICK TO YOUR TIME FRAME AND WE SEE SOMETHING PASSED BEFORE THE AUGUST RECESS, DO YOU THINK -- WE'VE ALREADY SEEN REGULATORY REFORM START. DO YOU THINK WE'D SEE 3% PLUS GDP BY NEXT YEAR?

MNUCHIN: I THINK IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME TO GET THERE. SO I THINK IT WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, MORE TOWARDS THE END -- SEEING THE GROWTH TOWARDS THE END OF NEXT YEAR. I THINK BY THE TIME WE PASS TAX REFORM, YOU SEE THE IMPACT ON THE ECONOMY, YOU SEE THE IMPACT OF REGULATION, IT'S DEFINITELY GOING TO TAKE INTO NEXT YEAR TO SEE AN ENGINE OF GROWTH.

QUICK: OBVIOUSLY A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT THIS, THE FED AND THE CDO, AND THEIR GROWTH PROJECTIONS ARE CLOSER TO 1.8%. WHAT ARE THEY MISSING? THEY DON'T SEE ANY OF THIS?

MNUCHIN: I DON'T THINK THEY'RE MISSING ANYTHING. I THINK THEY'RE MAKING THOSE PROJECTIONS BASED ON THE STATUS QUO. THAT'S WHERE THE ECONOMY HAS BEEN. IT'S BEEN ACTUALLY LOWER THAN THAT UNDER THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. AND I THINK WE'RE LOOKING AT SIGNIFICANT ECONOMIC CHANGES. WE HAVE AN UNBELIEVABLE ECONOMIC TEAM. MYSELF, GARY COHN. I SPEAK TO GARY MANY TIMES A DAY. WE WERE WITH MICK MULVANEY YESTERDAY ON THE BUDGET AT OMB. WE HAVE WILBUR ROSS IN COMMERCE. WE HAVE A GREAT ECONOMIC TEAM, AND WE'RE GOING TO PUT FORTH POLICIES THAT ARE GOING TO REALLY CREATE GROWTH IN THIS COUNTRY.

QUICK: LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW YOU GET A PLAN THROUGH CONGRESS BECAUSE THE HOUSE HAS ITS PLAN THAT PAUL RYAN HAS SHEPHERDED THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE UNDERSTAND VERY WELL. BUT THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS -- I CAN NAME AT LEAST SIX WHO HAVE SAID THE IDEA OF A BORDER ADJUSTMENT TAX IS SOMETHING THAT IS DEAD ON ARRIVAL, THAT THEY WILL NOT SUPPORT. THAT MAKES UP A HUGE PORTION, A TRILLION DOLLARS IN INCOME. FIRST OF ALL, DO YOU AGREE WITH THE BORDER ADJUSTMENT TAX AS SOMETHING THAT YOU THINK NEEDS TO BE INVOLVED IN TAX REFORM?

MNUCHIN: WELL, LET ME JUST SAY, I THINK THERE'S A CONSENSUS ON THE MAJORITY OF WHERE WE ARE ON TAX REFORM. WE'RE LOOKING CLOSELY AT THE ISSUES ON THE BORDER ADJUSTED TAX. I SPOKEN EXTENSIVELY WITH PAUL RYAN AND WITH CHAIRMAN BRADY ON THIS. WE'RE LOOKING AT IT. WE THINK THERE'S SOME INTERESTING ASPECTS OF IT. WE THINK THERE'S SOME CONCERNS ABOUT IT. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS, YOU KNOW, WE ARE ALL COMMITTED TO DO IS MAKE SURE THERE IS A COMBINED PLAN THAT'S A PLAN THAT IS THE ADMINISTRATION'S PLAN WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE THAT WE'RE ALL WORKING TOGETHER ON ONE PLAN THAT GETS PASSED. I THINK EVERYBODY'S ON THE SAME PAGE AND DOING THAT.

QUICK: BUSINESS COMMUNITY OBVIOUSLY IS LOOKING VERY CLOSELY AT A LOT OF THESE ISSUES. YOU HAVE MAJOR EXPORTERS LIKE A BOEING OR A GENERAL ELECTRIC WHO ARE ADAMANT WE SEE SOME SORT OF BORDER ADJUSTMENT. IF NOT THAT SORT OF TAX, BUT SOME OTHER WAY OF MAKING THE ADJUSTMENT. AMERICAN MANUFACTURERS ARE AT A HUGE DISADVANTAGE. WE'RE THE ONLY ONE OF 35 OECD COUNTRIES THAT DON'T DO SOMETHING LIKE THAT. IF YOU HEAR FROM THE BIG RETAILERS, SOMEBODY LIKE A

WALMART OR TARGET, THEY SAY IT WOULD WIPE OUT THEIR PROFITS POTENTIALLY AND WOULD END UP BENG A TAX ON CONSUMERS. WHICH ONE OF THOSE CAMPS DO YOU HAVE YOUR OWN CONCERNS COMING IN MORE CLOSELY ALIGNED WITH?

MNUCHIN: ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE REACHING OUT TO BUSINESS. NOT JUST BIG BUSINESS, BUT SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESSES, AND WE'RE LISTENING TO WHAT PEOPLE HAVE TO SAY. AS A MATTER OF FACT, THIS MORNING THE PRESIDENT IS HOSTING A GROUP. WE HAVE ABOUT 30 EXECUTIVES FROM VARIOUS MANUFACTURERS. I'LL BE GOING TO THE WHITE HOUSE AND PARTICIPATING IN THAT. THE PRESIDENT HAS ALREADY HOSTED THE RETAIL GROUPS. SO WE'RE LISTENING. WE UNDERSTAND THE CONCERNS. WE UNDERSTAND WHERE PEOPLE ARE, AND WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A PLAN THAT ADDRESSES THESE CONCERNS.

QUICK: IS IT FAIR TO SAY IT'S STILL A LITTLE TOO EARLY TO TELL ON THESE DETAILS THAT HAS TO BE WORKED OUT?

MNUCHIN: I WOULD SAY IT'S A LITTLE TOO EARLY TO ANNOUNCE. WE'RE WORKING BEHIND THE SCENES VERY CAREFULLY. WE'RE RUNNING A LOT OF NUMBERS. WE'RE TAKING INTO ACCOUNT A LOT OF ISSUES. AS I SAID, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GOING TO SEE SOMETHING IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WE'RE COMMITTED TO GET THIS PASSED BY AUGUST.

QUICK: DOES THIS PLAN NEED TO BE REVENUE NEUTRAL?

MNUCHIN: WELL, I THINK ONE OF THE ISSUES WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT REVENUE NEUTRAL, THERE'S GOING TO BE THE SCORING THAT THE JOINT COMMITTEE USES, THEN THERE'S OUR OWN INTERNAL VIEWS AT TREASURY AND THE ADMINISTRATION. MY GUESS IS THAT OUR GROWTH ASSUMPTIONS WILL BE HIGHER THAN WHAT THEY USE TO SCORE THE PLAN. AGAIN, THESE ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS WE'RE LOOKING AT. WE'RE RUNNING A LOT OF NUMBERS. I THINK YOU'VE HEARD ME TALK ABOUT WE BELIEVE IN DYNAMIC, NOT STATIC, SCORING. I THINK THAT'S SOMETHING THAT'S VERY IMPORTANT. AND I'LL TELL YOU, MY FIRST WEEK IN TREASURY, I HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE INCREDIBLE RESOURCES IN THIS BUILDING. THERE'S OBVIOUSLY AN INCREDIBLE HISTORY HERE, BUT THERE ARE JUST

UNBELIEVABLE RESOURCES. THE STAFF IS SO TALENTED. THEY'RE SO FOCUSED ON DOING THINGS. WE HAVE OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE IN THE TAX GROUP AND MODELING AREA. THEY'RE WORKING AROUND THE CLOCK ON RUNNING SCENARIOS FOR US.

QUICK: IT'S A FAIR POINT. IF YOU'RE USING DYNAMIC SCORING, WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY IF GROWTH IS COMING IN FASTER THAN EXPECTED, THAT'S GOING TO CHANGE ALL THE DIFFERENT NUMBERS. IT ALWAYS GETS BACK TO THE QUESTION OF WHO GETS TO BE THE ARBITER OF THAT, WHO'S CALLING THE SHOTS, WHO'S MAKING THOSE DECISION. JUST TO BE CLEAR, WHAT YOU'RE SAYING IS THAT YOU'LL HAVE YOUR OWN INTERNAL SCORING OF ALL OF THIS. IT WON'T NECESSARILY BE SOMETHING THAT MATCHES UP WITH CBO OR ANOTHER WAY OF LOOKING AT THINGS.

MNUCHIN: WELL, AGAIN, THERE MAY BE DIFFERENCES IN GROWTH PROJECTIONS. I THINK YOU'VE SEEN THAT IN THE PAST. I THINK AS WE'VE TALKED ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WE HAVE GROWTH PROJECTIONS BASED UPON OUR PLAN THAT WE THINK WE'RE GOING TO CREATE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF GROWTH AND THAT'S GOING TO CREATE JOBS, CREATE TAX REVENUES. THAT'S GOING TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY. SO WE GOT A LOT OF PEOPLE DOING A LOT OF WORK. AS I SAID, THIS IS MY NUMBER ONE AGENDA ITEM. THE PRESIDENT IS VERY FOCUSED ON THIS. THE LEADERSHIP IS VERY FOCUSED ON THIS, AND WE'RE GOING TO GET THIS DONE.

QUICK: YOU MENTIONED YOU'RE MAKING SURE THIS IS GOING TO BRING TAX BREAKS TO MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS. WHEN YOU SAT DOWN WITH US ON "SQUAWK BOX" BACK IN NOVEMBER, YOU SAID EVEN IF WEALTHIER PEOPLE GET A TAX BREAK, IT'S NOT GOING TO BE THAT THEY NECESSARILY ARE PAYING LESS IN TAXES BECAUSE THE DEDUCTIONS, THE LOOPHOLES WOULD BE CLOSED AS A RESULT. DO YOU STAND BY THAT NOW THAT YOU'RE ACTUALLY IN THE ADMINISTRATION AND IN YOUR POSITION AS TREASURY SECRETARY?

MNUCHIN: THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF COMMENTS ON THAT. I ACTUALLY THINK THERE'S A RULE. I THINK DURING MY CONFIRMATION, IT GOT NAMED THE MNUCHIN RULE. I WAS VERY KEEN ON THAT. THERE'S A VOLCKER RULE AND A MNUCHIN RULE AND A BUFFETT RULE. I FEEL LIKE I HAVE GOOD COMPANY. AS I'VE SAID BEFORE, WE'RE PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON A MIDDLE INCOME TAX CUT AND SIMPLIFICATION FOR BUSINESS. WHAT WE ARE FOCUSED IS THAT ON THE HIGH END, IF THERE ARE TAX CUTS, THAT THEY ARE OFFSET WITH REDUCTION OF DEDUCTIONS AND OTHER THINGS. SO IT'S SOMETHING WE'RE GOING TO CAREFULLY LOOK AT. WHEN WE COME OUT WITH THE PLAN, WE'LL COME OBVIOUSLY OUT WITH THE DISTRIBUTION AND HOW IT IMPACTS PEOPLE AND THAT'S SOMETHING WE'RE VERY FOCUSED ON.

QUICK: IS THAT -- THE MNUCHIN RULE IS NOT SET IN STONE AT THIS POINT, IT'S DEBATABLE?

MNUCHIN: WELL, AGAIN, WE HAVEN'T FINALIZED THE PLAN, BUT OUR OBJECTIVE AND WHAT I SAID BEFORE STILL STANDS. YOU KNOW, KIND OF THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS WHEN WE RUN THE NUMBERS. THE OBJECTIVE IS THIS IS A MIDDLE INCOME TAX CUT AND THIS IS TAX SIMPLIFICATION AND THIS IS MAKING BUSINESSES MORE COMPETITIVE.

QUICK: THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT THE TIMING WOULD BE ON THIS. DO YOU EXPECT THAT THE TAX REFORMS WOULD BE RETROACTIVE TO TAKE PLACE IN JANUARY OF THIS YEAR, OR DO YOU EXPECT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE WOULD LOOK FOR NEXT YEAR AT THE EARLIEST?

MNUCHIN: AGAIN, I CAN'T COMMENT ON THE SPECIFICS OF WHEN WE ROLL THIS OUT. OBVIOUSLY THOSE ARE THE TYPES OF THINGS THAT WE'LL BE TAKING INTO ACCOUNT. REGARDLESS OF WHEN THEY GO IN PLACE, THIS WON'T REALLY IMPACT THE ECONOMY UNTIL NEXT YEAR WHEN YOU BEGIN TO SEE CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR. AND IT WILL TAKE A COUPLE YEARS TO GET GROWTH. BUT WE'RE COMMITTED IN THIS ADMINISTRATION, AND YOU CAN SEE THIS IN THE MARKETS. YOU CAN SEE THE STOCK MARKET IS UP, THE DOLLAR IS UP. THERE'S A LOT OF CONFIDENCE IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND IN THE DESIRE TO INVEST IN THE U.S. THIS IS A VERY COMPETITIVE PLACE TO DO BUSINESS. WE GOT GREAT COMPANIES. YOU SEE THAT REFLECTED IN THE MARKETS.

QUICK: OBVIOUSLY THE STOCK MARKET HAS RALLIED SIGNIFICANTLY SINCE PRESIDENT TRUMP TOOK OFFICE. ACTUALLY, SINCE THE ELECTION, AND AGAIN SINCE HE TOOK OFFICE. DO YOU VIEW THAT AS A REPORT CARD?

MNUCHIN: ABSOLUTELY, ABSOLUTELY. THIS IS A MARKET TO MARKET BUSINESS AND YOU SEE WHAT THE MARKET THINKS.

QUICK: IF THE MARKET WERE TO PULLBACK IS THAT JUST DISAPPOINTMENT AND THINGS NOT GETTING DONE AS THE MARKET HAD ANTICIPATED -- YOU'VE WATCHED THE MARKETS FOR A LONG TIME. DO YOU EXPECT A PULLBACK AT SOME POINT WHEN YOU SEE THINGS MOVE SO FAR, SO QUICKLY?

MNUCHIN: I'VE ALWAYS BEEN FOCUSED IN THE MARKETS ON NOT DAY TRADING AND WHERE THEY ARE DAY TO DAY. WHETHER THE MARKET GOES UP OR DOWN ON ANY GIVEN DAY, YOU KNOW, I'VE GIVEN UP FIGURING OUT WHY THAT IS.

QUICK: SMART MAN.

MNUCHIN: BUT DO I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, OVER THE COURSE OF THE YEAR -- WE'RE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THERE'S VERY ATTRACTIVE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE U.S. I THINK THAT'S REFLECTIVE OF THE ADMINISTRATION'S GOALS AND WHAT THE MARKET THINKS OF IT.

QUICK: YOU HAVE SAID THAT YOU EXPECT INTEREST RATES TO REMAIN RELATIVELY LOW FOR SOME PERIOD OF TIME, BUT WHEN WE GET TO THIS GROWTH YOU'RE EXPECTING OF 3% OR BETTER, HOW QUICKLY DO YOU THINK INTEREST RATES WILL HAVE TO ADJUST TO CATCH UP WITH THAT TO REFLECT A STRONG ECONOMY?

MNUCHIN: WELL, LET ME SAY THIS IS REALLY MORE THE FED'S ROLE AND NOT MY ROLE. I DO LOOK FORWARD ON STARTING MY WEEKLY MEETINGS WITH JANET YELLEN AT THE FED. I LOOK FORWARD TO SPENDING TIME WITH HER. I WOULD COMMENT AGAIN, WE'RE IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE WE'RE AT HISTORICALLY LOW INTEREST RATES. I THINK IF YOU LOOK AT THIS ON A HISTORICAL BASIS, WE WILL PROBABLY HAVE LOW INTEREST RATES FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT WITHIN THAT THERE'S NOT THE CONTEXT THAT INTEREST RATES CAN GO UP AND YOU'VE SEEN THE FED SIGNAL THAT. AGAIN, I'M NOT GOING TO SPECULATE ON WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO. MY COMMENTS ARE REALLY ABOUT WHERE WE ARE NOT RELATIVE TO JUST TODAY BUT WHERE WE ARE RELATIVE TO WHERE INTEREST RATES HAVE BEEN OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.

QUICK: THERE WERE SOME MARKET SPECULATION YESTERDAY THAT YOU MIGHT TODAY ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR A LONGER TERM TREASURY BOND, A 50-YEAR AND 100-YEAR BOND BECAUSE OF JUST THAT, INTEREST RATES BEING LOW RIGHT NOW. HAVE YOU GIVEN THAT SERIOUS THOUGHT, AND IS THAT SOMETHING WE SHOULD EXPECT TO SEE?

MNUCHIN: I'VE SAID THIS BEFORE. WE'RE IN THE GOING TO MAKE A FORMAL -- WE'RE NOT READY TO MAKE ANY FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON WHETHER WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A 50-YEAR OR 100-YEAR. I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE. I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT WE SHOULD SERIOUSLY LOOK AT. I'VE ALREADY BEGUN TO TALK TO THE STAFF ABOUT LOOKING AT THAT. AGAIN, WE'LL REACH OUT TO THE MARKET, INVESTORS, DIFFERENT PEOPLE, BUT I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT IS A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE OF WHETHER WE SHOULD EXPLORE, WHETHER WE CAN RAISE 50 OR 100-YEAR MONEY AT A VERY SLIGHT PREMIUM. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT MAKES SENSE FOR TREASURY TO LOOK AT.

QUICK: IT DOES. YESTERDAY YOU CONTACTED CHRISTINE LAGARDE AT THE IMF AND HAD SOME CONVERSATIONS WITH HER ABOUT MAKING SURE THE IMF IS POLICING THE CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE POLICIES OF ITS MEMBERS. IS THAT A WAY OF TRYING TO MONITOR CHINA AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY'RE TREATING THINGS FAIRLY WITHOUT OFFICIALLY CALLING THEM CURRENCY MANIPULATORS?

MNUCHIN: LET ME FIRST SAY I HAD A TERRIFIC CONVERSATION WITH HER. I THINK I'VE SPOKEN TO PROBABLY ABOUT 12 FOREIGN LEADERS AT THIS POINT. FINANCE MINISTERS AND DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN THE GOVERNMENTS. I THINK I HAVE THE REST OF MY CALLS SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK. I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO GOING TO THE G20 AND BADEN-BADEN IN MARCH. SO I THINK ONE OF THE IMPORTANT JOBS IN THIS ROLE IS TO MAKE SURE I REACH OUT TO MY COUNTERPARTS AND THAT WE'RE FOCUSED ON CREATING OBJECTIVES THAT WILL CREATE ECONOMIC GROWTH FOR US AND SUSTAINED ECONOMIC GROWTH THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WE'VE TALKED ABOUT THIS. CURRENCIES ARE ONE OF THE THINGS WE LOOK AT, AND THAT'S SOMETHING I'VE TALKED TO A LOT OF MY COUNTERPARTS ABOUT.

QUICK: IS IT FAIR TO SAY YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BE NAMING CHINA A CURRENCY MANIPULATOR ANY TIME SOON?

MNUCHIN: AGAIN, WHAT'S FAIR TO SAY IS, FIRST OF ALL, I'VE HAD A TERRIFIC CONVERSATION WITH MY COUNTERPARTS THERE. I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING THEM. WE HAVE A PROCESS WITHIN TREASURY WHERE WE GO THROUGH AND LOOK AT CURRENCY MANIPULATION ACROSS THE BOARD. WE'LL GO THROUGH THAT PROCESS. WE'LL DO THAT AS WE HAVE IN THE PAST. WE'RE NOT MAKING ANY JUDGMENTS UNTIL WE CONTINUE THAT PROCESS.

QUICK: DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON THE EXIM BANK, THE EXPORT/IMPORT BANK? IT'S SOMETHING THAT BIG EXPORTERS IN THE UNITED STATES HAVE HOPED TO SEE SOME SUPPORT FOR. I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOUR THOUGHTS ARE ON IT.

MNUCHIN: I'VE TALKED TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT IT. IT'S SOMETHING WE'RE LOOKING AT. YOU KNOW, IT'S OBVIOUSLY STALLED AT THE MOMENT. I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF CONCERNS HISTORICALLY ABOUT THE XM BANK AND IS IT JUST SUBSIDIZING CERTAIN LARGE CORPORATIONS. THAT'S NOT SOMETHING WE'RE INTERESTED IN DOING. ON THE OTHER HAND, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT, AND TO THE EXTENT WE THINK T EXPORT/I EXPORT/IMPORT BANK CAN BE COMPETITIVE IN HELPING SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZE BUSINESSES EXPORT. THAT'S SOMETHING THAT IS IMPORTANT. RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A SITUATION WHERE THEY CAN MAKE LOANS UP TO $10 MILLION. THEY'RE DOING THAT, DOING PLENTY OF THEM. I ALREADY HAVE A TEAM LOOKING AT WHAT THE IMPACT IS ON THE ECONOMY IF WE EXPANDED THAT.

QUICK: FANNIE AND FREDDIE. IT'S BEEN A HUGE ISSUE PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SWIRLING AROUND. IT'S HARD TO SAY EXACTLY WHERE THE ADMINISTRATION STANDS ON IT, BUT YOU HAVE BEEN COMMITTED TO HOUSING FINANCE REFORM. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU COME DOWN ON THAT AND WHAT SORT OF TIME FRAME WE SHOULD EXPECT.

MNUCHIN: SURE. SO I MEAN, I'D SAY SOMETHING I'VE ALREADY STARTED WORKING ON. I MET WITH MEL WATT THIS WEEK WE HAD A VERY GOOD CONVERSATION. I MET WITH JEB HENSARLING WE'VE TALKED ABOUT VARIOUS DIFFERENT ISSUES. AS I I'VE SAID BEFORE, I'M COMMITTED THAT UNDER THIS ADMINISTRATION WE'RE GOING TO HAVE HOUSING REFORM SO THAT WE DON'T JUST LEAVE THESE ENTITIES THE WAY THEY ARE. THEY'VE BEEN SITTING THERE FOR TOO LONG OF A PERIOD OF TIME. WE NEED A SOLUTION. WE'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THIS. I THINK THIS WILL BE ONE OF THE AREAS WHERE HOPEFULLY WE'LL HAVE A BIPARTISAN SOLUTION. I THINK THERE'S A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT SHARE THE VIEW THAT WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING WITH THEM. THERE ARE DIFFERENT VIEWS. AS I SAID, YOU KNOW, I'VE ALREADY REACHED OUT TO PEOPLE. WE HAVE A TEAM INTERNALLY THAT WE'VE ALREADY ASSIGNED. SO THIS IS SOMETHING WE'RE GOING TO STUDY CAREFULLY. I DON'T THINK YOU'RE GOING TO SEE SOMETHING RIGHT AWAY FROM US, WHEREAS TAX REFORM IS A NEAR-TERM ISSUE, BUT THIS IS DEFINITELY ON THE AGENDA. WE HAVE A LOT OF THINGS TO DO HERE. THERE'S HOUSING REFORM, THERE'S CYBERSECURITY. I SPENT A LOT OF TIME ON TECHNOLOGY. IT'S A BIG PRIORITY FOR ME TO MAKE SURE WHETHER IT'S THE IRS THAT WE PROTECT PEOPLE'S RECORDS. WE GOT TO UPDATE THE SYSTEMS AT THE IRS. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE BANKING INFRASTRUCTURE IS SAFE. SO THERE'S A LOT OF THINGS ON MY TO-DO LIST.

QUICK: OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE A HUGE TO-DO LIST, A VERY BUSY DAY. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. BEFORE WE LET YOU GO, HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON YOUR SIGNATURE?

MNUCHIN: I HAVE INDEED. MY SIGNATURE WAS GREAT BEFORE BECAUSE NOBODY COULD EVER COPY IT.

QUICK: IT WAS A LOT OF LOOPS.

MNUCHIN: I WAS ACTUALLY AT A DINNER, AND EVERYBODY AT THE DINNER LIKE SIGNED THE MENU AND PASSED IT AROUND. SOMEONE SAID TO ME, WHOSE SIGNATURE IS THIS? I REALIZED IT WAS MINE THAT NOBODY COULD READ. SO MY KIDS AND OTHERS HAVE

ENCOURAGED ME TO HAVE A NEW SIGNATURE. I'VE BEEN PRACTICING IT SO IT'LL BE NICE AND NEAT ON THE MONEY.

QUICK: CAN YOU SHOW US? I HAVE A SHARPIE HERE.

MNUCHIN: I CAN.

QUICK: HERE YOU GO.

MNUCHIN: THIS IS A LITTLE DANGEROUS. I DON'T WANT YOU COPYING IT.

QUICK: NO, NO.

MNUCHIN: I'LL GIVE YOU -- THIS IS MY OLD SIGNATURE. AND THIS IS MY NEW SIGNATURE.

QUICK: MUCH IMPROVED. LET ME JUST SHOW THE CAMERA THIS.

MNUCHIN: VERY DIFFERENT.

QUICK: THAT IS A MUCH IMPROVED SIGNATURE. WELL, MR. MNUCHIN, I WANT TO THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME TODAY. TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BEING WITH US. OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE A LOT OF NEWS TO GET TO. WE'LL LET YOU GET TO WORK.

MNUCHIN: THANK YOU FOR COMING TO VISIT. I HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN HERE SOON.

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