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February 2, 2000

Contact:

Morrie Goodman (202) 482-4883
Daniel Cruise (202) 482-3809

UNDER SECRETARY DAVID AARON TO LEAVE COMMERCE POST

Washington, D.C.-Secretary of Commerce William Daley announced today that Ambassador David Aaron, Under Secretary for International Trade, would be leaving his post March 31, to return to the private sector. "He brought enormous energy and credibility to the International Trade Administration," said Daley. "We will miss his leadership and diplomatic skills."

David Aaron joined the Commerce Department in November 1997, after having served as Ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. As head of the International Trade Administration, Ambassador Aaron has been responsible for enforcing US trade laws, promoting exports, contributing to Administration trade policy, opening foreign markets and resolving commercial disputes with foreign governments.

He has provided strong support for US business efforts throughout the world, in particular in Europe, China, and the rest of Asia. Ambassador Aaron was the Administration's point person on international e-commerce issues such as privacy, EU biotech regulations and European aircraft noise rules. He also sought to head-off disputes with Europe by providing early warning of potential trade differences over standards and regulations. Ambassador Aaron has been responsible for following up the recommendations of the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue, including implementation of mutual recognition agreements and reconciling the standards for wireless telecommunications in Europe.

During his tenure, he helped open markets in China for insurance and telecommunications by intensifying and raising the level of our commercial dialogue. He established hot-lines where businesses could seek the full support of the US government to fight trade discrimination and corruption. To help US exporters take advantage of e-commerce and the Internet, he initiated the development of new online products and services. Through commercial diplomacy, he supported US foreign policy goals by helping U.S. businesses get involved in the reconstruction of Central America for Hurricane Mitch and of Southeast Europe after the war in Kosovo.

Ambassador Aaron also served as White House envoy for cryptography and in his previous position of U.S. Permanent Representative to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, he was instrumental in negotiating the Convention making bribery in international business transactions a crime.

"He has been a tireless advocate for US businesses around the world," said Secretary Daley. "By opening markets and defending US trading rights he has helped companies of all sizes across America."

Ambassador Aaron will be joining the Washington office of the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney as Senior International Advisor.

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