- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 10, 2004

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Bush administration yesterday abruptly postponed the announcement that a Nebraska businessman was its choice for a new post to help the nation’s manufacturers.

A news conference to introduce President Bush’s choice for assistant commerce secretary for manufacturing today was scrubbed, according to the office of Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans.

Although the administration did not name the nominee, Sen. Ben Nelson, Nebraska Democrat, said it was Tony Raimondo, chairman of Behlen Manufacturing Co.

Mr. Raimondo has talked openly about his setting up a joint operation with a Chinese company to run a factory in China, saying he needed to do it to compete more effectively there.

The postponement came after the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, had noted the expected nominee’s China ties. An administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, denied that the postponement was related to the Democratic criticism.

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