WASHINGTON - By unanimous consent, the U.S. Senate late Friday confirmed Jon Huntsman, Jr., as Deputy United States Trade Representative. Ambassador Huntsman will play a leading role for the United States in negotiating trade agreements and formulating trade policy towards East Asia, South Asia, and Africa.
"I have witnessed first-hand that economic freedoms reinforce political freedoms. Promoting open markets promotes democratic values in those markets and enhances opportunities for American farmers, workers, entrepreneurs, and families," said Huntsman. "I intend to do everything possible to help maintain America's preeminence in global economics. Yet with the United States party to only two of the 130 free trade agreements worldwide, it is crucial to get off the sidelines by launching a new WTO trade round and establishing a Free Trade Area of the Americas. Trade Promotion Authority, the President's top trade goal, is important for both."
Key issues facing Mr. Hunstman include China's accession into the WTO, market access issues with Japan, normalizing trade relations with Vietnam, finalizing a landmark free trade agreement with Singapore, and the expected launch of a new round of global trade talks following World Trade Organization meetings in Doha, Qatar in November.
Prior to joining USTR, Ambassador Hunstman served as Vice Chairman of Huntsman Corp., a global manufacturing business. He has extensive government experience, having served as the United States Ambassador to Singapore, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asia and the Pacific, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the International Trade Administration. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Huntsman is fluent in Mandarin Chinese, which he has studied for almost 20 years.