Vice President Pence Swears in Wilbur Ross as US Commerce Secretary

Washington D.C. [United States], Feb. 28 (ANI): Wilbur Ross's name has been approved by the Senate, as President Donald Trump's Secretary of Commerce.

Ross is expected to be a powerful figure in the Trump administration, leading the way on efforts to renegotiate NAFTA, the controversial trade agreement with Canada and Mexico. Former commerce secretaries have praised him, including one who served under former president Barack Obama.

Vice President Mike Pence administered the oath of office to Ross, 79, a day after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm the corporate turnaround expert's nomination, with strong support from Democrats.

Ross is notorious for buying failing companies, slashing jobs and selling them off.

Ross has also sought to ease concerns about whether the White House would try to politicize climate science. Reuters reported last month that Ross's companies had shipped some 2,700 jobs overseas since 2004. He also owns an art collection worth an estimated $150 million.




As commerce secretary, Ross will play a key role in shaping administration policy on trade.

Democrats' questions of Ross's ties with Russia come at a time when Trump is defending his administration's relations with Moscow, following leaks about repeated contacts between members of his campaign team past year and Russian intelligence officials.

"Mr. Ross will bring decades of business, entrepreneurial and civic experience to this important position", said Democrat senator John Thune, who is chairman of the Commerce Committee.

Since 2014, Ross has served as vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus, the largest bank in Cyprus, which was saved from bankruptcy in 2013 by a bailout from the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund and by forced contributions from most of its savers.

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