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
"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."