The U.S. Senate votes to confirm President Donald Trump's nomination of Wilbur Ross to be Commerce Secretary by a vote of 72-27. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: The U.S. Senate easily confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as U.S. commerce secretary on Monday (February 27) with strong support from Democrats, installing President Donald Trump's top official on trade matters. But Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was weary of casting his vote for Ross over allegations of inappropriate communications with Russia by the Trump administration. "We're getting to the end of the cabinet nominees, a nominee with ties to Russia, there's a document that states what they are, and so typical of this administration that stonewalls, that despises transparency, that don't let the letter be freed and make it available until after the vote. On a sensitive issue, and important to national security as Russia and this administration's relationship to it, this is another black mark on this nation's administration," Schumer said. The Senate voted 72-27 to confirm Ross, who has been highly critical of China's trade practices and who has had a strong influence on Trump's opposition to multilateral trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has designated Ross to lead a renegotiating of the 23-year-old U.S.-Canada-Mexico North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).