Obama Names Three for Trade Positions

Obama Names Three for Trade Positions

President Obama will send the Senate three more nominees for trade jobs in his administration, two for the Export-Import Bank and one for the International Trade Commission.

Those selections come just after his administration reached a crucial "action plan" agreement this week with Colombia on protections for union activists from a long-running campaign of violence against them. That deal clears the way for a pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement to go to Congress for approval.

They also come as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and other GOP lawmakers have vowed to block confirmation action on trade-related nominees - including Obama's pending choice to replace Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as he becomes ambassador to China - until the president sends up all three trade pacts that had been negotiated by the Bush administration.

Those were deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Obama earlier transmitted the South Korea accord after negotiating additional automobile market access terms in December. Once he sends the Colombia pact only the Panama agreement remains.

For now, though, the White House said Obama intends to nominate Wanda Felton as first vice president of the Ex-Im Bank, Sean R. Mulvaney to be a board member there and David S. Johanson to be a member of the ITC.

Felton, who owns MAP Capital Advisors, began her career as an Ex-Im Bank loan officer. Before MAP, she was a managing director at Helix Associates, which works with private equity funds, a director in the private fund group at Credit Suisse First Boston and a managing director at Hamilton Lane Advisors where she advised institutional investors on alternative investment programs.

Mulvaney is director of the Economic Policy Program at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Until 2008 he was at the U.S. Agency for International Development as assistant administrator for management. He earlier held staff jobs at the House of Representatives, including assistant to the speaker in 2006 for appropriations, budget and trade policy, and from 2001 to 2005 as a trade and foreign policy adviser to the chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations. From 1998 to 2001, he worked in brand management for the consumer products division of Glaxo Smithkline.

Johanson was international trade counsel since 2003 on the Republican staff of the Senate Finance Committee. Before that he practiced international trade law at the Stewart and Stewart firm in Washington, D.C., and earlier worked on the staffs of Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, and for California Republican Reps. George Radanovich and Wally Herger.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter @jboydjoc.