Trump nominates Huntsman as ambassador to Russia, Peirce to SEC

Jon Hunstsman was nominated Tuesday by President Donald Trump as the next U.S. ambassador to Russia. Hester Peirce was also nominated to a position on the board of the Securities and Exchange Commission. File Photo by Matthew Healy/UPI

July 19 (UPI) — The White House has announced the nomination of Jon Huntsman as U.S. ambassador to Russia and Hester Peirce to a position on the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Huntsman, a former governor of Utah, was a businessman before he became ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama, and U.S. diplomat to Singapore during the administration of George W. Bush. He had a short candidacy for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.

Although he and President Donald Trump have since resolved differences, Huntsman was slow to endorse Trump as the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, and withdrew his support during the campaign.

Huntsman currently chairs the Atlantic Council, a think tank, and sits on boards of several corporations.

The Kremlin has already endorsed Huntsman’s nomination. The current U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Tefft, announced he will step down in the autumn.

Peirce’s nomination fills a GOP vacancy on the SEC’s board of commissioners. She is a researcher at the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, and a frequent critic of Wall Street regulations imposed after the 2008 economic crisis.

Peirce’s earlier nomination to the SEC, by Obama, stalled after Democratic senators objected to it. She is supportive of reducing regulatory burdens on public companies, and her inclusion on the board, which has five commissioners at full strength, will make Chairman Jay Clayton’s agenda easier to carry out, reported Wednesday.

Each of Trump’s appointments, announced Tuesday, still must be confirmed by the Senate.


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