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Indian American Lawyer Neomi Rao to lead White House Regulatory Affairs Office

The 44-year-old Rao was confirmed by a vote of 54-41 on Monday and she would lead the White House office overseeing regulation

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Indian American Lawyer Neomi Rao. Twitter

Washington, July 11, 2017:  The US Senate has voted to confirm Indian American lawyer Neomi Rao as the head of Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

The 44-year-old Rao was confirmed by a vote of 54-41 on Monday and she would lead the White House office overseeing regulation, according to Senate’s official website.

“In selecting Professor Neomi Rao… the President has made an inspired choice. Since first working on my staff many years ago, Director Rao has proven herself to be a sharp and principled public servant,” said Senator Orrin Hatch, senior member and former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“She possesses a keen sense for our duty in Washington to help small businesses grow and make lives of Americans easier,” he said.

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Senator John Hoeven also appreciated Rao for her commitment to work and said that he secured a commitment from her to address benefit and cost analysis for Army corps projects and to ensure fair treatment of public-private partnerships, the American Bazaar online reported.

Rao serves as an associate professor of law and the founding director of the Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School.

She graduated from Yale University and later attended University of Chicago Law School. Rao clerked for US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

She is also a member of the Administrative Conference of the US and the governing council of the American Bar Association’s Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. (IANS)

 

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U.S. Commerce Department Recommends White House on How to Proceed with Auto Industry Tariffs

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its "Section 232" national security report shrouded in secrecy.

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Auto industry, tariffs
Robots swing a cab and bed into place for a new heavy duty pickup truck on the assembly line where Chevrolet Silverado trucks are being built at General Motors Flint Assembly in Flint, Michigan, Jan. 30, 2019. VOA

The U.S. auto industry urged President Donald Trump’s administration on Monday not to saddle imported cars and auto parts with steep tariffs, after the U.S. Commerce Department sent a confidential report to the White House late on Sunday with its recommendations for how to proceed.

Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy, which will make it much harder for the industry to react during the next 90 days Trump will have to review it.

“Secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs,” the Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association said in a statement, adding that it was “alarmed and dismayed.”

“It is critical that our industry have the opportunity to review the recommendations and advise the White House on how proposed tariffs, if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers, and trigger a reduction in U.S. investments that could set us back decades.”

Representatives from the White House and the Commerce Department could not immediately be reached.

Auto industry, tariffs
Some trade organizations also blasted the Commerce Department for keeping the details of its “Section 232” national security report shrouded in secrecy. VOA

The industry has warned that possible tariffs of up to 25 percent on millions of imported cars and parts would add thousands of dollars to vehicle costs and potentially devastate the U.S economy by slashing jobs.

Administration officials have said tariff threats on autos are a way to win concessions from Japan and the EU. Last year, Trump agreed not to impose tariffs as long as talks with the two trading partners were proceeding in a productive manner.

“We believe the imposition of higher import tariffs on automotive products under Section 232 and the likely retaliatory tariffs against U.S. auto exports would undermine – and not help – the economic and employment contributions that FCA, US, Ford Motor Company and General Motors make to the U.S. economy,” said former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt, the president of the American Automotive Policy Council.

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Some Republican lawmakers have also said they share the industry’s concerns. In a statement issued on Monday, Republican Congresswoman Jackie Walorski said she fears the Commerce Department’s report could “set the stage for costly tariffs on cars and auto parts.”

“President Trump is right to seek a level playing field for American businesses and workers, but the best way to do that is with a scalpel, not an axe,” she added. (VOA)