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World

US pondering additional 'targeted' pandemic aid: Mnuchin

  • The Treasury secretary was due to appear alongside Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to discuss the massive CARES Act stimulus package approved in late March.
30 Jun 2020

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump's administration is considering further steps to provide aid to businesses and workers harmed by efforts to contain the coronavirus, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday.

Mnuchin said the "tremendous amount of funding" already approved by Congress is helping to shore up the economy, which should improve in the latter half of the year.

But any additional relief "would be targeted to certain industries that have been especially hard-hit by the pandemic, with a focus on jobs and putting all American workers who lost their jobs, through no fault of their own, back to work," he said in testimony prepared for delivery to the House Financial Services Committee.

The Treasury secretary was due to appear alongside Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to discuss the massive CARES Act stimulus package approved in late March, which includes loan facilities for large companies as well as the Paycheck Protection Program for smaller businesses.

In his prepared statement, Powell stressed that containing the virus and restoring confidence were key to the economic recovery, along with "policy actions taken at all levels of government to provide relief and to support the recovery for as long as needed."

Mnuchin said the administration will soon begin "to have conversations about supplemental relief legislation. We look forward to working with Congress on a bipartisan basis in July on any further legislation that may be necessary."

The secretary stressed data showing aid already released has helped spark a recovery, including creating 2.5 million jobs in May.

"While the unemployment rate is still historically high, we are seeing additional signs that conditions will improve significantly in the third and fourth quarters of this year," Mnuchin said.