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Vice President Pence Swears in Wilbur Ross as US Commerce Secretary

Vice President Pence Swears in Wilbur Ross as US Commerce Secretary

Ross was confirmed on a vote of 72-27, comfortably passing the final stage of his nomination process in comparison to several other members of Donald Trump's cabinet.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who voted "nay", had criticized Ross' business ties to Russian Federation and the way he ran a mortgage lender during the housing crisis.

"I expect that Ross will quickly become the administration's chief trade spokesman, and that Navarro's influence will be felt indirectly, rather than through public statements or testimony", said Gary Hufbauer, a senior fellow and trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

Former Commerce secretaries have praised him, including one who served under former President Barack Obama.

Ross is expected to take part in a high-level Japan-U.S. economic dialogue for economic and trade policy coordination that the two governments plan to start as early as April. "He's made billions off the backs of struggling home owners", Warren said Monday. And in his free time he hangs out with other Wall Street tycoons who sit around making fun of everybody else.

"Yeah. That's the thing - not to say that it's punitive, but in the interest of American safety", Ross told Trump.

In his confirmation hearing, the 79-year-old singled out the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, as a priority. The union has endorsed him. As part of his ethics agreement, Ross will divest from the firm.

The White House is expected to hold a swearing-in ceremony for the new Commerce Secretary on Tuesday prior to Trump's address to a joint session of Congress. Data attained by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request shows that rescue effort came at a price: textile, finance and auto-parts companies controlled by the private-equity titan eliminated about 2,700 US positions since 2004 because they shipped production to other countries, according to a Labor Department program that assists workers who lose their jobs due to global trade.

In 2000 Ross founded private equity firm WL Ross & Co, and is now worth approximately $2.9bn.

Ross said he has experience at that agency; he was a census-taker while he attended business school.

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