Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., and Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C., have reintroduced bills to restore the
rank of “ambassador” to the Office of the US Trade Representative’s special textile and apparel
negotiator. Until 2003, the position carried the title of chief textile negotiator, a title that
carried the rank of ambassador and required Senate confirmation.
If passed, the bill would restore the rank of ambassador. Without that rank, the current
negotiator has been put on unequal footing with some international counterparts.
“America’s domestic textile industry should have every advantage that other countries enjoy
when it comes to USTR negotiations with foreign counterparts,” Hayes said. “We will continue to
push for comprehensive agreements that prevent countries, including China, from dumping illegal
transshipments into our market, and I want to empower the USTR textile negotiator to protect
American textile jobs.”
The bill also would allow the negotiator to serve as acting chief textile negotiator until
January 24, 2007