President George W. Bush on April 18 nominated deputy U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to step up to the top job, handing her the tough task of steering WTO talks through to success. Schwab would succeed her boss, Rob Portman who was nominated earlier today to take charge of the Office of Management. Portman will succeed Josh Bolten, who has become the new White House chief of staff.
Schwab has been deputy USTR for just five months, negotiating with Portman to craft a deal at the World Trade Organization to tear down barriers to commerce. She would take over at a testing time. The WTO has set itself a deadline of the end of this month to get the outlines of a liberalization deal on its "Doha Round", and then to finalize an overall agreement by the end of the year.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006