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Wilbur Ross sworn in as USA secretary of commerce

Wilbur Ross sworn in as USA secretary of commerce

The senate confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as secretary of commerce in a 72 to 27 vote less contentious than some other cabinet approvals.

Said by Forbes to be worth £2.5 billion, Mr Ross will be tasked with leading plans to overhaul trade deals such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) for the Trump administration.

"Given your decades of experience, your record of leadership, your integrity and your commitment to protecting America's economic future, President Trump and I have full confidence that you will succeed and when you succeed as Secretary of Commerce, you will help America succeed to a more prosperous future", Pence said during the ceremony.

If confirmed, Ross is scheduled to be sworn in as commerce secretary at the White House on Tuesday prior to Trump's speech to a joint session of Congress.

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Senate Democratic Minority Leader Chuck Schumer deplored the fact that the White House would not release Ross's response to the Democrats' queries. Ross led an auto parts company that moved jobs to Mexico, while a textile firm he founded opened a cotton plant in Vietnam that would employ 1,500 workers, The New York Times reported.

"Mr. Ross has extensive ties to Russian Federation".

Ross, in reply, has indicated that he will step down from the Bank of Cyprus after he takes office.

In mid-February, Trump's national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about pre-inauguration discussions he had with the Russian ambassador in Washington about United States sanctions against Russia. Democrats also wished for Ross to explain his possible connection with Russian shareholder Viktor Vekselberg, who's described as a friend to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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