- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 12, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate Finance Committee has approved former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk to be the next U.S. trade representative, the person in charge of steering the country’s trade policy.

Kirk’s confirmation hit a bump last week when it was revealed that he, like some others nominated by President Barack Obama, had a problem with underpaid taxes. But Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus declared the tax trouble an honest mistake, and endorsed Kirk as the best man for the job. He was approved by voice vote.

As trade representative, Kirk must find a balance between business and farm groups supporting an expansion of free trade agreements and union and consumer groups who say past agreements have cost American jobs.

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