Bush Names Portman ’78 to Trade Post

President Bush on Thursday named Robert Portman ’78, an Ohio congressman, to be the next US Trade Representative, pending Senate confirmation. The Washington Post said the staunch free-trade advocate enjoys broad bipartisan support, so his approval is likely. A former trade lawyer, Portman served in the White House in the early 1990s, successfully ran for Congress in 1993, and campaigned for President Bush in 2000 and 2004.

Even though he represents Ohio, a state whose protected industrial interests have been hurt by freer competition, Portman has remained committed to liberalization. As he explained during a press conference Thursday,

open markets and better trade relations are key components to a more peaceful, a more stable and a more prosperous world. Through expanded trade, the roots of democracy and freedom are deepened. And here at home, trade policy opens markets to create jobs, a higher standard of living and greater economic growth.