Your new (insider) trade representative

In International Trade, US Politics on June 8, 2006 at 3:30 pm

Now that NY Sen. Chuck Schumer withdrew his opposition to the president’s nominee to be the next U.S. trade represetative, Susan C. Schwab is likely to be approved. Here’s a quick-and-dirty, highly informal profile of Schwab.

Like her predecessor Rob Portman, who has very close ties to the Bush family, Schwab is by no means a new face on the scene. After serving in the administration of Bush 41, Portman was elected to the House’s Ohio delgation, where he pushed through a bill to have the CIA headquarteres renamed for, who else, Bush 41. At the rededication cerimony, Bush 41 also thanked John Kerry and the now befallen Porter Goss. None of the San Diego driven CIA scandal has been tied to administrator-tuened-representative-turned-trade ambassador Portman yet, but who knows…

But back to Schwab: In 1989, Bush 41 appointed Schwab as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce. In 2003, she had been nominated as Deputy Treasury Secretary, but was forced to withdraw after she was questioned about tax payments on the sale of $1.5 million of stock in Calpine Corp., where she was a board member and member of the “Compensation Committee.” She’s on the board of an equity firm called Adams Express (check their top 10 holdings here), holding at least $18,000 in personal wealth on the company at the end of 2003. She’s also on the board of Petroleum and Resources Co. — check their not-so-surprising list of top investments here, in which she owns between $10,000 and $50,000 in equity. For a full listing of corporate connections, check this 10-kwizard.com search.


  1. […] We have more on USTR tit-for-tat appointments right here. […]

  2. […] While some have reported that the Free Trade Area of the Americas “is dead,” I agree more with the stance that it will be watered down into smaller agreements with individual countries, which will then put pressure on countries abstaining. To push countries into these smaller agreements, the US Trade Representative, Susan Schwab (see our backgrounder on her here), threatened earlier this week to revoke preferential treatment for “left-leaning” countries, as some journalists have described it. […]

  3. […] Japan’s Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa declined to set a specific target for U.S. subsidy reductions, but said the EU’s proposal was a good starting point. U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab, present as an observer at the meeting in the northeastern city of Cairns, said Washington was willing to give more, but fwanted the European Union to first put greater tariff reductions on the negotiating table. […]

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