WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump outlined economic policy initiatives on Thursday that he would pursue if elected to the White House in November, including refinancing longer-term U.S. debt, lowering taxes and scrapping a slew of federal regulations.
The Manhattan real estate mogul said his aim would be to clear the way for U.S. businesses to succeed.
“We’re lowering taxes very substantially and we’re going to be getting rid of a tremendous amount of regulations,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with CNBC.
“The business people they talk about regulation more than they talk about taxes,” he said.
Trump’s path to the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election became clear after a decisive primary victory in Indiana on Tuesday forced his two remaining rivals, U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Ohio Governor John Kasich, to drop out of the race.
The candidate, who has never held elective office, has been pressed to provide more details on policy proposals. On Wednesday, he said he was “open to doing something” with the country’s minimum wage, but that any increase would have to be weighed against a potential loss of competitiveness.
In the CNBC interview, the billionaire said he supported low interest rates for now and believed the United States should try to refinance some of its debt to help pay for infrastructure repairs.
“I would refinance debt. I think we should refinance longer-term debt,” Trump said.
Trump has experience in restructuring his business debt, including two of his Atlantic City casino companies, and said he has been successful on that front.
Trump told CNBC he would not renegotiate U.S. bonds but would buy back at discounts, depending where interest rates are.
“Part of the problem is when a lot of this debt comes due, what happens if the rates are high and we have no budget that can even conceivably take care of this,” Trump said.
If interest rates go up just 1 percent, Trump said, it would be devastating for the economy.
“I think there are times for us to refinance, refinance debt with longer term,” he said. “Because you know we owe so much money. Nobody talks about it - nobody talks about it until the bubble pops. And the bubble could pop, and it could pop and it could be ugly.”
Trump also warned about the downside of a strong U.S. dollar.
“I love the concept of a strong dollar, in many respects obviously I like a strong dollar. But when you look at the havoc that a strong dollar causes,” he said on CNBC. “While there are certain benefits, it sounds better to have a strong dollar than in actuality it is.”
Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Additional reporting by Megan Cassella; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry
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