The Senate has approved Ron Kirk as the United States Trade Representative this week. This is a cabinet position and Ambassador Kirk will serve as President Barack Obama's principal trade adviser, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues.

Kirk was the mayor of Dallas from 1995 to 2002. Previously, Governor Ann Richards appointed him to the Texas Secretary of State post. He served as a legislative aide to Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) and was named as chair of Texas' General Service Commission.

The USTR office is responsible for U.S. trade policy, including implementing and enforcing trade agreements. These include the ongoing Doha Development Agenda multilateral trade negotiations, as well as 17 current U.S. free-trade agreements.