Senate confirms Wilbur Ross as U.S. commerce secretary

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross was sworn in as US commerce secretary on Tuesday after helping shape Republican President Donald Trump's opposition to multilateral trade deals.

As a high-stakes investor a decade ago, Ross specialized in turning around troubled manufacturing companies at a time when the US economy was losing more than 100,000 jobs yearly due to global trade.

By a vote of 72 to 27 on Monday, the Senate confirmed Ross, who has already been advising President Trump on economic policy and helping him to craft ways to rewrite the tax code.

The new Commerce Secretary has been required to divest a significant portion of his business interests in order to be confirmed, and will now be expected to put Mr Trump's "America first" pledge into practice.

Whether or not these connections involve any criminality, these are the kind of relationships that most American business people would not tolerate for 30 seconds.

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Ross, 79, has indicated he will step down from the Bank of Cyprus after he takes office, according to reports. With a market share of 30 percent, Bank of Cyprus has always been the market leader in Cypriot financial chicanery.

U.S. President Donald Trump now has a commerce secretary.

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

"Wilbur Ross is practically a cartoon stereotype of a Wall Street fat cat with no interest in anyone but himself", Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of MA, wrote on Twitter.

Ross's predecessor as vice chairman of bank's board is Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, a former KGB agent known to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the full Senate, 19 Democrats and one independent joined Republicans to confirm him. "He is practically a cartoon stereotype of a Wall Street fat cat".

  • Sonia Alvarado