Trump to hold town hall meeting with about 50 business leaders

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump plans to hold a town hall meeting with about 50 business leaders on Tuesday at the White House to talk about ways of improving the business climate, his administration said on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump looks up as he boards Marine One to depart the White House in Washington, U.S. March 2, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The meeting, which will include the chief executives of Citigroup Inc C.N, Blackstone Group LP, JetBlue Airways Corp JBLU.O, Mastercard Inc MA.N and the New York Stock Exchange, will involve discussions on infrastructure, modernizing government, workforce development and creating a pro-business climate.

It comes as the administration is shifting its focus to tax reform and possibly a major investment in infrastructure after suffering a major setback when a Trump-backed healthcare reform package failed to win enough support to pass the House of Representatives.

The town hall is an “opportunity to discuss policies to create a pro-business climate with top Partnership CEOs from all industries,” White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said

Trump has held a series of meetings with chief executives and other business leaders since taking office in January as he has prodded companies to add U.S. jobs and asked how government could reduce regulations to boost economic growth.

The town hall is scheduled to last an hour and 45 minutes and include banking, private equity and hedge funds, insurance companies and others. Also taking part will be Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a senior adviser.

Among the business leaders attending are senior executives from General Electric GE.N, Hearst, HSBC Bank USA, Interpublic Group IPG.N, Vornado Realty Trust, Centerbridge Partners and Paulson & Co.

Trump, who was a real estate mogul before entering the White House, has pledged to use his business acumen to revitalise the American economy and create millions of jobs.

While the Republican president has begun the process of rolling back some labour and environmental regulations that he said were harming businesses, the administration has yet to secure a significant legislative victory to support his efforts to boost the economy.

Trump has also proposed sweeping cuts in government regulations and signed an executive order to roll back some energy rules.

Last week, the White House said Trump had named his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, already a White House senior adviser, to take on the additional task of overseeing an effort to overhaul the federal government.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Additional reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Peter Cooney