Obama nominates new commerce secretary, USTR

Obama nominates new commerce secretary, USTR

US President Barack Obama today nominated businesswoman Penny Pritzker, heiress to the Hyatt hotel chain as the next Commerce Secretary and tapped his Deputy National Security Advisor Michael Froman, a known India expert, as the new US Trade Representative (USTR).

Billionaire Pritzker, who is from Obama's hometown of Chicago, is one of the most accomplished and highly respected women in business today.

Pritzker "is one of our country's most distinguished business leaders," Obama said.

"She knows from experience that no government programme alone can take the place of an entrepreneur. She is going to make America a magnet for good jobs," he said.
Pritzker is currently the chairman and CEO of PSP Capital Partners and its affiliate Pritzker Realty Group, and also chairs Artemis Real Estate Partners.

Pritzker is a close friend of Obama and has been among his key fundraisers for both his presidential campaigns.

Froman is a known India hand at the White House and has been involved in almost all the key India policies emanating from the Obama Administration in its first term.
Obama called Froman, who will be in charge of negotiating major trade pacts with Asia and Europe, "an extraordinarily tough negotiator."

"He does not rest until he's delivered the best possible deal," Obama said.
Froman currently serves as an Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics.

He has fought to open markets and level the playing field on behalf of the American workers for the past four years.

As Obama's top adviser on international economics, Froman is responsible for coordinating the Administration's policies on international trade and finance, energy security and climate change, and development issues.

Froman served as the principal White House negotiator in completing trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama, supporting over 70,000 jobs and oversaw the creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Centre, to crack down on unfair trade practices and level playing field for American workers.

He also serves as the President's 'Sherpa', leading preparations for over a dozen international economic summits including the G-8, G-20, and APEC.

Froman oversees the Administration's economic engagement with China, India, Brazil, Russia, Japan and the European Union and the development of economic strategies for the Middle East and Africa.

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