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Nasdaq CEO: What I want to see from the Trump administration

Repatriating the "hundreds of billions of dollars" of cash kept offshore by companies should be one of the top priorities for Donald Trump's administration, the chief executive of the Nasdaq said Wednesday.

U.S. companies excluding those in the financial sector had over $1.2 trillion stashed overseas at the end of 2015, according to ratings agency Moody's. Many technology companies have large cash piles overseas. For example, Apple has over $200 billion abroad.

Trump has proposed cutting the tax rate for companies bringing back cash to the U.S. to 10 percent from around 35 percent currently. The idea is that this will encourage corporations to repatriate cash that can then be used for domestic investment.


Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq.
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq.

Bob Greifeld, CEO of the Nasdaq, said the plan could be carried out easily, and it would be something he would like the Trump administration to do.

"What's in the order of doable and could have been done under the Obama administration is a deal on repatriation. That deal is there to be done. I think it's relatively low hanging fruit," Greifeld said during a panel at the Web Summit technology conference in Lisbon, moderated by CNBC.

"There are hundreds of billions of dollars offshore that companies would like to bring onshore and I think the effective clearing rate is probably around 10, 12 percent and then you become relatively indifferent. So for me, that affects all industries there, whether it's used to fund an infrastructure bank which I think is good policy. I'd like to see that happen."