Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross won confirmation as US commerce secretary on February 27, clearing President Donald Trump's top trade official to start work on renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico. This was reported by Reuters.
The US Senate voted 72-27 to confirm the 79-year-old corporate turnaround expert's nomination, with strong support from Democrats.
Ross is set to become an influential voice in Trump's economic team after helping shape the president's opposition to multilateral free trade deals such as the now-scrapped Trans-Pacific Partnership.
While commerce secretaries rarely take the spotlight in Washington, Ross is expected to play an outsize role in pursuing Trump's campaign pledge to slash U.S. trade deficits and bring manufacturing jobs back to America.
Trump has designated Ross to lead the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, a job that in past administrations would have been left to the U.S. Trade Representative's office.
Ross, estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.9 billion, built his fortune in the late 1990s and early 2000s by investing in distressed companies in steel, coal, textiles and auto parts, restructuring them and often benefiting from tariff protections put in place by the Commerce Department.
Earlier it was reported that Trump will increase defense expenses, cutting from medicine, ecology. US President might include such propositions in budget of the next fiscal year.