Wilbur Ross

Ross Warned of Potential Criminal Violation

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “said he would sell all of his remaining stock holdings after the Office of Government Ethics faulted him for continuing to maintain investments — and enter into new ones — that he was required to divest,” the New York Times reports.

“In a strongly worded letter, the ethics office said Mr. Ross’s continued ownership of assets that his ethics agreement required him to divest — and his decision to open short sale positions while serving as Commerce secretary — could have placed him in position to violate criminal conflict of interest laws.”

Stock Market Won’t Change Trump’s Mind on Trade

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC that there’s no level on the downside in the stock market that would alter the way President Trump approaches trade.

Said Ross: “There’s no bright line level of the stock market that’s going to change policy. The president is trying to fix long-term problems that should have been fixed a long time ago.”

Wilbur Ross Isn’t a Billionaire as Claimed

According to financial-disclosure forms Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross filed after his nomination, Ross has less than $700 million in assets despite repeatedly claiming he’s worth more than $2 billion, Forbes reports.

“And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.”

Commerce Secretary Concealed Ties to Putin Cronies

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross “shares business interests with Vladimir Putin’s immediate family, and he failed to clearly disclose those interests when he was being confirmed for his cabinet position,” NBC News reports.

“Ross — a billionaire industrialist — retains an interest in a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, that was partially owned by his former investment company. One of Navigator’s most important business relationships is with a Russian energy firm controlled, in turn, by Putin’s son-in-law and other members of the Russian president’s inner circle.”

New York Times: “Details of these arrangements surfaced in a cache of leaked files from Appleby, one of the world’s largest offshore law firms, which administered some 50 companies and partnerships in the Caymans and elsewhere connected to Mr. Ross.”

Ross Plans to Keep Stakes In 11 Companies

“Wilbur Ross Jr. plans to keep millions of dollars invested in offshore entities whose values could be affected by policies that he implements as commerce secretary,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Ross, the 79-year-old private-equity billionaire whom President Donald Trump has nominated to run the Commerce Department, has said that if he is confirmed, he will sell at least 80 business assets and investment funds over the next several months. But he plans to hold on to investments in an oil-tanker company and 10 other entities that invest in shipping and real-estate financing… It isn’t clear why Mr. Ross is retaining these 11 assets.”

Trump’s Commerce Pick Once Supported TPP

“Wilbur Ross, Donald Trump’s pick to be Commerce secretary, signed a letter in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal in 2015,” CNN reports.

“Since then, Ross has emerged as a vocal critic of trade deals… Ross has made other statements in conflict with Donald Trump in recent years, including the assertion jobs would never come back to the United States from China.”

Trump Expected to Tap Ross for Commerce

“Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the ‘king of bankruptcy’ for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is expected to be President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for commerce secretary,” the Washington Post reports.

“Ross helped shape the Trump campaign’s economic agenda, particularly its hard-line stance on the need to renegotiate — or withdraw from — free trade agreements. Trump’s advisers have been split on that issue, which some economists warn could spark a damaging trade war, but Ross’s nationalist views are considered in line with the president-elect’s own.”

Meanwhile, Politico reports Trump is likely to tap Todd Ricketts, the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and a member of the powerful conservative Ricketts family, to be deputy secretary of commerce.