Obama to Announce Picks for Commerce, Trade Rep

Longtime fundraiser and top economic adviser will be nominated today
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 2, 2013 7:07 AM CDT
Obama to Announce Picks for Commerce, Trade Rep
Penny Pritzker and Mike Froman.   (AP Photo/File)

President Obama will name a longtime fundraiser to run the Commerce Department and a top economic adviser as the next US Trade Representative, according to a White House official. Commerce nominee Penny Pritzker, a businesswoman, philanthropist, and Hyatt hotel heiress, is Obama's final pick to fill vacancies among Cabinet secretaries in his second term. The Commerce post has been vacant since last summer, when John Bryson resigned after he said he suffered a seizure that led to a series of hit-and-runs. If confirmed, Pritzker would become the fourth female secretary in Obama's current Cabinet. She also would be the wealthiest in the Cabinet by far, with Forbes estimating her net worth at $1.85 billion and ranking her as the 277th richest American.

USTR nominee Michael Froman is one of Obama's senior economic advisers and a former Citigroup executive. The Cabinet-level post performs as the administration's top adviser and negotiator on international trade. If confirmed, Froman would replace Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor who stepped down as trade representative in February after serving in the post for all of Obama's first term. Obama will announce both nominations from the White House this morning before departing for Mexico. (More Penny Pritzker stories.)

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