US Economy

Economy won't be fixed by one-off actions like the Carrier deal, Obama economist says

Furman: Corporate tax reform is badly needed

President-elect Donald Trump's Carrier deal is significant, but the president-elect will need to broaden his focus to create real economic stimulus, White House economist Jason Furman told CNBC on Friday.

"The president is happy any time you can save a job, any time you can add a job. He's also very happy about what he did on the auto industry that saved a million jobs there. He's happy about the 800,000 jobs that we've added in manufacturing since 2010," Furman told "Squawk on the Street."

"To do that, you need a really broad range of economic policies, not just one-off actions," said Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence struck a deal this week with Carrier to keep the Indiana air conditioner manufacturer from moving 1,000 jobs to Mexico.

Furman emphasized the need for tax code reform, which he said would help the United States compete successfully on an international scale.

"We need the American economy to be as productive as possible: more education, more training, more infrastructure, a tax code that works for our companies. All of those things make it really attractive to produce in America," Furman said.

The economist said that along with reforming the international tax code, working with other countries on trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership also helps create parity, leveling the playing field for global trade.

Trump has vowed to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership within his first 100 days in office.

Furman acknowledged that portions of the international tax code should be revised.

"There [are] aspects of our international tax code that reward you for production overseas. We should certainly be ending those. There [are] aspects that make it harder for you to maintain global supply chains. We should try to clean those up as well," Furman said.

"If we do that, you will have more good jobs in the United States, but you don't want to do it in a one-off basis," he added.

Furman said he was excited to see the unemployment rate declining to 4.6 percent, admitting that he did not think he would ever see it so low.

"For the year as a whole, we're still tracking well above inflation, well above the pace before we came in office. Of course we'd like to see more wage growth, but that's been another good part of the labor market overall," he said.