UPDATE: Trump officially selected Puzder today as secretary of labor nominee.
President-elect Donald Trump is closing in on fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder to be his secretary of labor, according to reports.
The New York Times reported that the chief executive of CKE Restaurants and a financial supporter of Trump’s campaign “gained steam as a candidate” over the past week.
If Puzder is the choice, the financial services industry should be pleased. The 66-year-old executive is a sharp critic of regulation. He is on record as opposing the Department of Labor overtime rule, and it’s likely he also would favor killing the fiduciary rule.
“Things would be much better across our economy if government regulators would back off,” he wrote in his blog.
A harsh critic of California’s regulated business environment, Puzder is moving his CKE employees from the Golden State and St. Louis into one office in the income-tax-free Nashville.
He has spoken out against California’s new overtime labor rules and minimum wage increases. Strict business regulations and high taxes stifle economic growth, Puzder has said in his blog.
The Affordable Care Act is increasing labor costs while rising premiums reduce discretionary incomes, he added.
While eliminating the fiduciary rule from the books will take some effort, the incoming secretary of labor can place a moratorium on the effective date. The fiduciary rule, which places significant liability on advisors who sell on commission, is slated to begin taking effect April 10, 2017.
Trump also spoke with Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pa., last week about the DOL post. Barletta confirmed he was offered the job and said he would decide by the end of last week.
Interviewed Friday, the congressman downplayed a DOL move and spoke of having more influence as a Trump confidant in a Republican-led House.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Editor John Hilton has covered business and other beats in more than 20 years of daily journalism. John may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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