Senate Committee Endorses Portman

Senate committee endorses Portman as U.S. Trade Representative

Cincinnati Representative Rob Portman's bid to be the next US trade representative was unanimously endorsed by the Senate Finance Committee today.

But his confirmation by the full Senate is still being held up by Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, who is blocking the nomination to protest US trade policy toward China and other countries.

Portman is expected to be easily confirmed when the Senate eventually votes. The trade representative negotiates new free trade agreements, resolves disputes with other countries and coordinates US policy with international groups like the World Trade Organization.

Portman says the US needs a tougher approach toward China, which last year had a 162 billion dollar trade surplus with this country.