WASHINGTON – President Clinton has nominated Charlene Barshefsky for the post of U.S. Trade Representative, and has nominated Bill Daley for the Secretary of Commerce position. Barshefsky has been acting USTR since April.
Barshefsky has a reputation as a tough negotiator, recently handling the intellectual property rights talks with China. “I have watched her in action,” Motion Picture Assn. of America prexy Jack Valenti said. “Charlene Barshefsky is about as first-class a trade negotiator as ever I have witnessed.”
But Reuters reports that Barshefsky could have some troubles when it comes to Senate confirmation hearings, because she represented Canadian companies in a cross-border lumber dispute. Under current law, anyone who has represented a foreign government in a trade dispute with the U.S. is barred from the USTR post.
Also nominated Friday was Daley, brother of the current Chicago mayor Richard Daley, and son of the former Chicago mayor of the same name. During the press conference Friday, Daley fainted and tumbled into the audience. He later returned to the news conference after a 10-minute rest. The collapse was attributed to the hot lights in the press room and that Daley had not eaten lunch.
Daley is a lawyer who orchestrated last summer’s Democratic convention in Chicago, and also spearheaded the effort to pass the North American Free Trade Agreement.