April 18, 2006


President Bush Nominates Rob Portman as OMB Director and Susan Schwab for USTR (George W. Bush, Rose Garden)

Good morning. Today I'm announcing my nomination of two outstanding individuals to serve in my Cabinet and on my economic team.

First, I will nominate Rob Portman to be the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rob will replace Josh Bolten, who this week started in his new role as my Chief of Staff. The Office of Management and Budget is one of the most essential agencies of our government. The OMB has a central responsibility of implementing the full range of my administration's agenda, from defense programs that will keep our people secure, to energy initiatives that will break our dependence on oil, to tax policies that keep our economy growing and creating jobs.

In these and other areas, the job of the OMB Director is to ensure that the government spends the taxpayers' money wisely, or not at all. He is the person in charge of meeting our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009. And he is responsible for managing federal programs efficiently. The American people deserve results for every hard-earned dollar they send to Washington.

The job of OMB Director is really an important post, and Rob Portman is the right man to take it on. Rob's talent, expertise and record of success are well-known within my administration and on Capitol Hill. For the past 11 months, Rob has served as United States Trade Representative. When he took the job I told him to focus on opening new markets for American exports, to ensure that our producers and farmers are treated fairly, and to get Congress to pass essential American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. He's accomplished those goals.

I signed CAFTA into law last summer, and Rob Portman and his staff completed trade agreements with Bahrain, Oman, Peru and Colombia. He also re-energized the Doha trade talks at the World Trade Organization. Before joining my Cabinet, Rob represented the 2nd district of Ohio in the United States Congress for more than a decade. He was a key part of the House leadership. He was an influential member of the Ways and Means Committee. And he served as Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee.

His legislative achievements range from reforming the Internal Revenue Service, providing tax relief for working families, to encouraging retirement savings. Rob's leadership in Congress was also marked by an ability to work across the aisle and bring people together to get things done. He's going to bring that same skill to his new post. [...]

I'm also pleased to announce that I'm going to nominate Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab to succeed Rob Portman as the new U.S. Trade Representative.

Trade is one of the most powerful engines of growth and job creation. America accounts for about 5 percent of the world's population, and that means that 95 percent of our potential customers live overseas. So my administration has taken an aggressive agenda to break down barriers to American exports across the world.

When I took office, we had three free trade agreements. Now, we have free trade agreements with 11 countries, and 18 more are pending. Susan will work hard to conclude these agreements and ensure that American goods, services and crops are treated fairly in overseas markets.

Last year, the countries with which we have free trade agreements represented about 7 percent of the economy abroad, but about 42 percent of our exports. Lowering trade barriers to the sale of our goods and services helps provide a level playing field for American workers and farmers and ranchers. And that means more jobs and opportunities, because our workers and ranchers and farmers can compete with anybody, anytime, anywhere, so long as the rules are fair, and Susan Schwab understands that.

The Deputy U.S. Trade Representative for the past five months, Ambassador Schwab worked tirelessly to open up new markets, and at the same time, making sure our people were treated fairly. Her trade portfolio covered several continents, and she led USTR efforts in a number of vital policy areas, including intellectual property enforcement.

Susan also worked closely with Ambassador Portman to advance the Doha negotiations. Now she will use her experience to help complete the Doha round and create other new opportunities for American exporters.

Mr. Portman got spectacular reviews when he was nominated to the Trade post.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 18, 2006 8:52 PM

Seems like a decent pick but the conservative blogs are underwhelmed. The Bush shakeup has potential to reinvigorate his admin going into the election if he takes advantage of it.

Posted by: AWW at April 18, 2006 9:34 PM


Yes, but they're always unhappy. He's a rising star:


Posted by: oj at April 18, 2006 9:47 PM