News / USA

    Obama Fills Key Spots on Economic Team

    U.S. President Barack Obama announces Penny Pritzker (R) as his new nominee for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Michael Froman (L) as his nominee for U.S. Trade Representative while in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, May 2, 2013.
    U.S. President Barack Obama announces Penny Pritzker (R) as his new nominee for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Michael Froman (L) as his nominee for U.S. Trade Representative while in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, May 2, 2013.
    Kent Klein
    President Barack Obama nominated economic adviser Michael Froman as his new U.S. Trade Representative, and businesswoman and political fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary. The president spoke Thursday before leaving for two days of economic-related talks in Latin America.

    As Trade Representative, Froman would replace Ron Kirk, who stepped down in February after four years on the job.  

    Obama called Froman “one of the world’s foremost experts on the global economy,” and said he was instrumental in helping Kirk finalize trade deals with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.

    “And over the past four years, he has been my point person at global forums like the G8 and the G20," Obama stated. "And by the way, when I say ‘point person,’ he has really been the driving force oftentimes in organizing these incredible international summits in which huge amounts of business get done.”

    After his announcement, the president left for two days in Mexico and Costa Rica, where he was expected to talk with Central American leaders about expanding trade deals with other parts of the world.

    Obama said Froman will help advance trade negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership with the Asia-Pacific region and the Trans-Atlantic Partnership with Europe.  And he said his nominee will insist that trade be conducted fairly.

    “He has won the respect of our trading partners around the world.  He has also won a reputation as being an extraordinarily tough negotiator while doing it.  He does not rest until he has delivered the best possible deal for American businesses and American workers,” noted Obama.

    Froman’s nomination received generally good reviews from the U.S. business community.

    A frequent administration critic, U.S. Chamber of Commerce chief executive officer Thomas Donohue, said Thursday his group will support Froman’s nomination.  In a statement, Donohue said Froman “has the vision and experience to deliver new trade opportunities for American workers and companies at the negotiating table.”

    In selecting Penny Pritzker to run the Commerce Department, the president called her “one of our country’s most distinguished business leaders.”

    The Hyatt hotel heiress has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for both of Obama’s presidential campaigns.  She served on his Presidential Economic Recovery Advisory Board in 2009, and later on his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

    If confirmed, Pritzker and Froman would fill the last remaining openings in the president’s cabinet.  Obama urged the Senate to confirm both nominees quickly.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora