Trump's Cabinet Welcomes Another Billionaire Wilbur Ross

Trump's Cabinet Welcomes Another Billionaire Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross, President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Commerce, was easily confirmed by the Senate in a 72-27 vote Monday.

Ross' involvement in the Bank of Cyprus raises many questions about his judgment, but also about the Trump Administration's seemingly endless direct and indirect connections with friends and associates of Vladimir Putin, who all 17 USA intelligence agencies say conspired to interfere in the November 2016 US election on behalf of Donald Trump.

"Much of the administration's trade agenda has been awaiting the confirmation of Ross, who is the tip of the presidential spear on trade matters", Chris Krueger, an analyst at Cowen & Co., wrote in a report on Monday.

Ross is expected to be a powerful figure in the Trump administration, leading the way on efforts to renegotiate NAFTA, the controversial trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Wilbur Ross arriving for his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee in January.

Ross, a billionaire, made his fortune restructuring failing companies.

The commerce secretary has several roles in promoting American business interests in the US and overseas.

But Ross has also been criticized for shipping jobs overseas at some of those struggling companies, something that Trump has slammed Ford (F), Carrier and others for doing.

In his new role, Wilbur Ross will be among those leading a potential free-trade deal between the U.S. and the United Kingdom - although his comments sparked fears America will seek to exploit the uncertainty created by Brexit to win business.

During his confirmation hearing, Ross expressed support for "sensible trade", noting he has had direct experience with unfair trade in the steel, textile, and auto parts businesses and other sectors.

Ross has also sought to ease concerns about whether the White House would try to politicize climate science.

Mr Ross served under President Clinton on the board of the US-Russian Investment Fund, and was later an adviser on privatisation to then New York Mayor, Rudy Giulliani.

Ross has an estimated net worth of $2.9 billion.