Office of the United States Trade Representative


USTR Portman Praises Chairman Thomas’ Public Service

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Trade Representative Rob Portman issued the following statement in regard to the announcement that Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) will retire at the end of 2006.

"Chairman Thomas has earned a well deserved reputation for being a smart and effective leader. Throughout his career, he has successfully mastered complex issues and moved legislation that has made a meaningful difference in the lives of Americans. His public service – on behalf of his constituents and the nation – has been exceptional.

"On a personal note, Chairman Thomas has been a good friend and colleague for over 12 years. In my new role as the USTR, he never hesitates to give me advice and he is actively engaged in the details of trade issues. I respect that, and I look forward to our continued efforts throughout this year to expand trade and lower barriers for American farmers, manufacturers and service providers."


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