Image: Rep. Xavier Becerra
Charles Dharapak  /  AP
In this May 17, 2007 file photo, Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., looks on during a news conference for the State Children's Health Insurance Program in Washington.
updated 12/4/2008 6:06:14 PM ET 2008-12-04T23:06:14

California Congressman Xavier Becerra met with President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss the job of U.S. trade representative.

The meeting took place at Obama's transition office in Chicago. It was confirmed by a Democratic official who spoke on condition of anonymity because no public announcement has been made.

Becerra, a Democrat just elected to his ninth term representing Los Angeles, is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and an ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

He has fought for labor protections in trade agreements, leading opposition to the Central American free-trade pact because he thought it was too weak in that area.

The U.S. trade representative is responsible for negotiating trade deals and overseeing trade policy. The job would be important under Obama, who has called for renegotiating the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement. Becerra voted for that pact but later criticized it.

Choosing Becerra for the job would give Obama another high-profile Latino appointment in addition to his choice of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as commerce secretary.

Spokeswomen for Becerra and for Obama declined to comment.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments