- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
- U.N. rights chief: Flight MH17 downing possible war crime
- Attack on park in Gaza war kills 10, mostly children
- Calif. protesters to block Israel-owned ships at Port of Oakland
- Obama to give Africa $38M, but tells young leaders: Stop ‘making excuses’ for economy
Trade Representative Kirk to leave administration by end of Feb.
Question of the Day
Mr. Kirk’s departure was widely expected after he said last year that he was planning to leave and return to his native Texas.
As trade representative, Mr. Kirk was responsible for developing and recommending American trade policy to the president.
In a statement, the former Dallas mayor said serving Mr. Obama was his “greatest professional privilege.”
“Together, we have made great strides to bring about the president’s vision of a more robust, responsible and responsive trade policy that opens markets to products stamped ‘Made-in-America’ and enforces Americans’ trade rights around the world — and does so in a way that is more consistent with America’s core values on issues like the rights of workers and the environment.”
The departure of Mr. Kirk, who is black, comes as critics have raised questions about Mr. Obama’s commitment to diversity after the first set of second-term appointments have all been white men.
During his tenure, Mr. Kirk helped shepherd long-term trade agreements between the United States and South Korea, Colombia, and Panama — which originated during George W. Bush’s presidency.
“There’s no question Ron delivered results for the American people and for our economy,” Mr. Obama wrote in a statement. “From bringing home new trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and negotiating to open up new markets for American businesses, to cracking down on unfair trade practices around the world, he has been a tremendous advocate for the American worker.”
Mr. Kirk also led the administration’s effort to bring cases before the World Trade Organization that accused China of unfair trade practices. Among them were charges of imposing heavy tariffs on imports of U.S. automobiles, auto parts and steel.
His office also joined the European Union and Japan in accusing China of limiting its exports of rare earth minerals, which are used to manufacture hybrid car batteries, flat-screen televisions and other high tech products.
He is the latest member of Mr. Obama’s economic team to announce his departure. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis have also announced they are leaving. The president has nominated Jacob Lew to replace Mr. Geithner at Treasury.
• This article based in part on wire service reports.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Mark Davis
The nation founders, the Lone Star State thrives
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- D.C. police chief orders officers not to arrest legal gun owners carrying weapons in public
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- CURL: Obama, staffers not even pretending any more
- Family of Marine killed in Afghanistan pushes back against cover-up
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- DeSean Jackson working on offensive cohesiveness with Redskins teammates
- Washington Times strikes content and marketing partnership with Redskins
- D.C. seeks stay in order striking down ban on handguns in public
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq