The Senate voted to confirm Wilbur Ross as President Donald Trump’s secretary of commerce on Monday.
When Trump nominated Ross in November, he described the billionaire investor as “a champion of American manufacturing” and “one of the greatest negotiators” he had ever met.
Ross is a longtime associate of Trump’s and helped the him save his Atlantic City casinos in the 1990s. He also served as an adviser to Trump during the transition and has been a vocal critic of trade deals, much like the President.
In December, Ross said that he would make renegotiating NAFTA a priority.
“We’re working out the fine-point details, but NAFTA is a logical starting point,” he told CNN. He also reciprocated Trump’s praise.
“I’ve negotiated with him over the years and he is not a bluffer,” Ross said.
According to a January report by Reuters, Ross eliminated 2,700 U.S.-based jobs since 2004 as a result of his decisions to move various companies’ production overseas.
Trump often railed against outsourcing on the campaign trail and pledged to put “America first,” even though his own businesses have outsourced.
The Senate Commerce Committee postponed Ross’ confirmation hearing in January because it had not yet received his ethics agreement.
Ross told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during his hearing that he fired an undocumented household employee after they were unable to produce paperwork verifying their immigration status as part of his confirmation process.
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