Senate committee approves USTR nominee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Finance Committee has approved Michael Froman, a law school classmate of President Barack Obama and a senior White House economic adviser, to be the next U.S. Trade Representative.

The panel voted by voice to send Froman’s nomination to the full Senate, where he is expected to be confirmed without major opposition. Froman succeeds Ron Kirk, the former Dallas mayor who resigned as USTR in February.

Froman is currently serving as deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs and has been involved in coordinating White House policy on international trade, investments and energy.

As trade representative he will be responsible for overseeing two major trade negotiations, one encompassing countries across the Asia-Pacific region that could wrap up this year and another about to begin with the European Union.

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