INTRODUCTION: AMBASSADOR FRANK LAVIN SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE
Mr. Chairman, thank you for this opportunity to introduce my friend and fellow Ohioan, Ambassador Frank Lavin of Canton, whom President Bush has nominated to be the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade.
I had the privilege of introducing Frank recently when he appeared before the Banking Committee and am pleased to once again sing his praises. Frank has a solid background in the economic and international issues that this job entails, including advanced degrees from Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, and Wharton. Professionally, Frank has distinguished himself through over two decades of work in Asian affairs in both government and the private sector.
I have known Frank for quite some time, dating back to his days in the Reagan Administration, when he worked at the National Security Council as Deputy Executive Secretary. He then went on to serve the White House in the Office of Political Affairs, which is where I met him.
Frank was then nominated and served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Asia and the Pacific, where he was responsible for commercial policy, assisting companies with market access, and trade negotiations for the region. He continued his connection with the region during the late 1990s as a banker and venture capitalist in Hong Kong and Singapore.
With his high caliber professional experience within the region, it was no surprise when President Bush nominated Frank to be Ambassador to Singapore. As Ambassador, Frank helped oversee the successful negotiation and enactment of the U.S.-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.
It is important that we have someone in this position who knows business, knows our trade rights and responsibilities, knows our trade partners, and knows how to open markets to U.S. goods. It is particularly important to have someone like Ambassador Lavin who has a thorough understanding of the countries in the Far East, which seem to be at the center of so many of our trade discussions here in Congress. Frank has a ground floor view of the region -- both from his days in the private sector and from his years spent in government service.
Adding to his professional accomplishments, I would like to mention that Ambassador Lavin is also a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves and has raised three wonderful children together with his wife, Ann. I wish them all the best during this confirmation process.
Thank you again, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me to make this introduction.