For Immediate Release
Contact: Daniel Cruise or Arlene Mayeda, 202-482-3809
Tuesday, August 8, 2000
Robert S. LaRussa Sworn
in as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
Washington, D.C. - Commerce Secretary Norman Y.
Mineta issued the oath of office Friday, August 4, to Robert S.
LaRussa, who received a recess appointment as Commerce Under Secretary
for International Trade. Mr. LaRussa had served as Acting Under
Secretary since April.
As head of the International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department
for Commerce, Mr. LaRussa is responsible for managing 2,158 ITA
employees and advising the Secretary of Commerce on international
trade issues. His priorities include promoting U.S. exports through
electronic commerce, advocating U.S. business interests abroad,
enforcing laws against unfair trade practices, and ensuring compliance
with U.S. trade agreements.
"I look forward to working with Robert LaRussa, whose diligent
work is helping U.S. businesses expand trade opportunities around
the world," said Commerce Secretary Norman Y. Mineta. "Bob's previous
work with the Department's Commercial Service and Import Administration
shows great accomplishment in promoting free and fair trade as an
engine of economic opportunity for the working people of America."
In describing his priorities for international trade during his
recent Senate confirmation hearings, Mr. LaRussa said that "...it
is critical to increase the number of Americans who benefit from
the technology revolution and to work with U.S. businesses to increase
trade through technology."
Another priority, he said, is compliance and enforcement of our
trade agreements: "We want to ensure that U.S. firms and workers
receive the benefits negotiated for them during China's World Trade
Organization (WTO) accession process."
Mr. LaRussa said a third priority is implementation of the President's
Steel Action Program, including a recently released comprehensive
steel report that provides suggestions for avoiding future steel
crises and setting out a strategic plan of action.
Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. LaRussa was the Assistant
Secretary for Import Administration, which administers the antidumping
and countervailing duty trade laws.
Mr. LaRussa joined the Commerce Department in 1993 and served as
the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Commercial Service.
Before joining the Commerce Department, Mr. LaRussa worked as international
trade counsel to Rep. Sander Levin, a member of the House Ways and
Means Committee. He served on the Clinton presidential transition
team, working on international trade and manufacturing issues, as
deputy to Dr. Laura D'Andrea Tyson prior to her appointment as chair
of the Council of Economic Advisors.
An attorney and former journalist, Mr. LaRussa graduated from the
State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and the University
of Massachusetts. A native of New York, Mr. LaRussa now lives in
Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and four sons.