(Dallas Morning News)
If President Barack Obama were graded on trade policy, he’d probably get a gentleman’s C, and only that high because he had former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk as his tutor.
Kirk, who was part of Obama’s White House team from Day One, will leave his post as U.S. trade representative next month, the latest in a growing list of officials who have opted not to stay on for the president’s second term.
Both as a candidate and as president, Obama has displayed an uneasy relationship with business, free trade and globalism. Not so for Kirk, who as Dallas mayor promoted both international trade — as part of the city’s economic agenda — and the North American Free Trade Agreement.
At the top of Kirk’s accomplishments in Washington are prominent pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. Negotiations began during George W. Bush’s administration, but it was Kirk who jump-started and completed the deals after winning additional political and economic promises. More recently, he has been a central player in U.S.-Asian trade talks. Read more here.
Date: January 29, 2013