Wilbur Ross
Donald Trump looks on as Wilbur Ross (left) departs after their meeting at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on 20 November. He is tipped to take over as commerce secretary Reuters

In a sign that Donald Trump will stick to his controversial economic policies, Wilbur Ross, known as the "king of bankruptcy" for buying failing companies, is tipped to be his commerce secretary.

Listed by Forbes as being worth $3bn, Ross helped develop Trump's tax-cut and infrastructure plans and advocates lower corporate rates and getting US companies to repatriate their overseas profits.

A senior Trump adviser said on condition of anonymity that Ross was likely for the post, the Associated Press reported. Ross himself would not comment on the appointment but is the latest ultra wealthy conservative set to join the administration.

He once said the United States must free itself from the "bondage" of "bad trade agreements," and advocated steep tariffs on Chinese goods.

He earned part of his fortune investing in troubled factories in the industrial Midwest and in some instances generating profits by limiting worker benefits.

Trump did well in that region on the promise of more manufacturing jobs from renegotiated trade deals and penalties for factories that outsourced their work abroad.

He embraced populist rhetoric in his backing of Trump, but enjoys a luxurious lifestyle, possessing an art collection worth $100m and commuting between his offices in Palm Beach, Florida and New York, the Associated Press reported.

Trump is likely to choose as deputy commerce secretary, Todd Ricketts, a big donor to the Republican Party who is an owner of the Chicago Cubs. Earlier he would not confirm if there was a place for New Jersey governor Chris Christie, in his administration.

AP reported that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is still being considered for secretary of state "and other things" although former presidential candidate Mitt Romney was also a "strong contender", despite his opposition to the President-elect during the Republican primaries.

On Wednesday (23 November) Trump said he would pick Betsy DeVos as his education secretary and he tapped South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to serve as US ambassador to the United Nations.

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson has said "an announcement is forthcoming" on his position, which would make him the first black choice — possibly as secretary of housing and urban development, AP reported.