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Ron Kirk Chosen For Trade Representative

(AP)
It appears President-elect Barack Obama is preparing to make some more announcements before he heads out on vacation to Hawaii this weekend. Earlier we reported that he has chosen Rep. Hilda Solis to be his secretary of labor. Now, CBS News confirms that he has chosen former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk to be the next U.S. trade representative, according to a transition source.

Kirk, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2002, is now a partner of the powerhouse law firm Vinson & Elkins.

The Wall Street Journal points out an interesting dichotomy between these two picks. Kirk is an avid free-trader who has often extolled the benefits of NAFTA. Solis on the other hand is a free-trade opponent who rallied opposition to the Central American Free Trade Agreement. The selection of both displays a possible split in the administration as Mr. Obama tries to appeal to supporters both sides of the issue and in separate wings of his own party. (You can read more from the Journal here.)

On Thursday, Mr. Obama named Mary Schapiro as his choice to chair the SEC, Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Daniel Tarullo for an empty seat at the Federal Reserve. (Read more on those picks.)

CBS News reports that it's expected that Kirk, Solis and Mr. Obama's Transportation Secretary choice Rep. Ray LaHood will all be officially announced at a news conference tomorrow at 2:15 p.m. ET.

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