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For Immediate Release:January 9, 2006
Contact:Victoria Park  (202) 482-3809

International Trade Administration Welcomes New Senior Officials

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Franklin L. Lavin welcomes three senior officials to the International Trade Administration (ITA). Michelle O’Neill has assumed the position of Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade. David Bohigian is the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Market Access and Compliance and David Spooner is the new Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration. Spooner and Bohigian were confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 17, 2005.

“ITA is fortunate to gain the leadership and expertise of O’Neill, Bohigian and Spooner,” said Lavin. “They will be tremendous assets to the Department and this Administration as we carry forward the President’s vision to grow the economy and create American jobs by lowering trade barriers for American companies and fostering U.S. competitiveness in international trade.”

Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Michelle O’Neill was named Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade in November 2005. In this capacity, she oversees the daily operations of the International Trade Administration (ITA), which has an annual budget of $400 million and 2300 employees. O’Neill returns to ITA with an impressive professional record and a long history of government service, including 17 years of prior ITA service. Before rejoining the ITA leadership team, O’Neill served as Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology. Beginning in July 2004, O’Neill served as the chief operating officer of the Technology Administration, which includes the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Assistant Secretary for Market Access and Compliance David Bohigian will lead his Market Access and Compliance team in obtaining market access for American firms and workers and ensuring that foreign governments fully comply with more than 250 trade agreements. Assistant Secretary Bohigian also chairs the Department's Iraq and Afghanistan Reconstruction Task Forces, which provide information and resources to businesses interested in participating in reconstruction efforts and commerce in these two countries. Bohigian previously served as the Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He focused on economic and fiscal policy, as well as energy, manufacturing, trade, and financial services.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Import Administration David Spooner will lead the Import Administration in its efforts to enforce trade laws and agreements to protect U.S. businesses from unfair competition within the United States resulting from unfair pricing by foreign companies and unfair subsidies to foreign companies by their governments. Prior to his Commerce appointment, Assistant Secretary Spooner served as the U.S. Government Textile Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. He was responsible for trade negotiations involving textiles and apparel, working to expand American industry access to overseas markets.