Senate Confirms Portman as USTR
The U.S. Senate early this morning confirmed Representative Robert Portman (R-OH) to be the next U.S. Trade Representative. The voice vote, which occurred shortly after midnight, followed Senator Evan Bayh's (D-IN) decision to drop his legislative on the nomination. Bayh agreed to drop his hold after receiving a promise that a hearing would be held on S. 593, the Stopping Overseas Subsidies (SOS) Act. That bill would amend Section 701(a)(1) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1671(a)(1)) to specify that the provisions relating to countervailing duties apply to nonmarket economy countries. The Department of Commerce considers China, Vietnam and Ukraine as nonmarket economy countries.