Mnuchin predicts $100B in cap investment from new opportunity zones

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Former Sears holding company sues ex-CEO, Mnuchin and others over 'asset stripping' On The Money: Inside the Mueller report | Cain undeterred in push for Fed seat | Analysis finds modest boost to economy from new NAFTA | White House says deal will give auto sector B boost MORE on Thursday predicted $100 billion in capital investment would come from so-called opportunity zones created by the Republican tax law.

"I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity zones," Mnuchin said in an interview with Bob Cusack, editor in chief of The Hill, as part of The Hill's Newsmakers Series events.

"I think there's going to be over $100 billion dollars in private capital that will be invested in opportunity zones, and the way it worked was each state, the governor had the right to designate multiple census tracks. The treasury had to approve them. We've already done that, so step one is done," he continued. 

"There are many, many attractive places to invest all across the country, everywhere from the entire island of Puerto Rico is an opportunity zone, to New York, California, Wisconsin, all different types of places, which, in most cases, the census tracks are not that far from where there's lots of business," he said. 

"This will unlock lots of capital that was tied up that never would have been sold to reinvest in these communities," he continued. 

The Republican-backed tax law led to the creation of opportunity zones, which proponents have said encourages investment in economically distressed areas by giving tax breaks to people who invest in the zones. 

Critics, however, have said opportunity zones could leave such areas behind, instead targeting already booming areas.

— Julia Manchester