WASHINGTON, D.C. - The United States Senate today overwhelmingly approved the nomination of USTR designee Ron Kirk as the nation's 16th trade representative. As United States Trade Representative (USTR), Kirk is member of President Obama's Cabinet and serves as the President's principal trade advisor, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues. He is the first African American to serve in the post.
Kirk draws upon more than 25 years of diverse legislative and legal experience on local, state and federal levels. As the mayor of Dallas from 1995 - 2001, he earned a reputation for bringing together diverse coalitions to achieve results and expanded Dallas' reach to the world through a range of trade programs, including numerous trade missions. Previously, Governor Ann Richards appointed him as Texas Secretary of State, he served as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen and he was named as chair of Texas' General Service Commission. Ambassador Kirk also served as a City of Dallas assistant city attorney.
The office of USTR is responsible for the development and oversight of U.S. trade policy, including strategy, negotiation, implementation and enforcement of multilateral, regional/bilateral and sector-specific trade agreements. These include the ongoing Doha Development Agenda multilateral trade negotiations, as well as seventeen Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to which the United States is currently a party. As well, Ambassador Kirk is responsible for U.S. trade policy involving agriculture; industry; services and investment; intellectual property; environment; labor; development and preference programs.
More information will be forthcoming regarding Kirk's official swearing in ceremony.