By and  on March 19, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Senate approved the nomination of former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk as U.S. Trade Representative Wednesday by a vote of 92 to five. The move came in the midst of a trade dispute with Mexico, which was poised to impose punitive tariffs on $2.4 billion worth of U.S. exports today.

Kirk will face significant challenges as Obama’s trade chief, particularly as the rhetoric over protectionism heats up among global trading partners and on Capitol Hill. Mexico prepared to slap tariffs on 90 U.S. export products, including a 15 percent tariff on sunglasses and synthetic staple fiber yarns.

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