As president-elect Donald Trump continues to fill his Cabinet, reports arose over the holiday season that Trump was ready to tap Wilbur Ross, the “king of bankruptcy,” as secretary of the Commerce Department.
Ross is a billionaire investor who, as NY Daily News explains, “made his fortune buying distressed steel mills, coal mines, and other companies that once formed the core of the American industrial economy and then selling them again for a profit…”
He and Trump share very similar stances on trade. POLITICO reports that Ross “has been a vociferous critic of trade deals negotiated over the last 25 years, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Trump has vowed to leave unless Mexico and Canada agree to renegotiate on more favorable terms.”
The billionaire supported Trump’s presidential campaign, telling CNBC in June that “we need a more radical, new approach to government – at least in the U.S. – from what we’ve had before.” He also explained his reasoning for Trump’s popularity:
I think the reason why the Trump phenomenon has become so important…is because middle class and lower middle class America has not really benefited by the last 10 to 15 years of economic activity and they’re sick and tired of it and they want something different.
As explained by Bloomberg, the 78-year-old was a Democrat for the majority of his life, before changing his party loyalty in 2012 to support then Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Trump had also met with Todd Rickets, another billionaire Trump supporter and co-owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team, for the position of deputy secretary in the Commerce Department.