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Trump names Australia native to head US manufacturing panel

Dec 10. 2016
US President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Australian businessman Andrew Liveris during the USA Thank You Tour December 9, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. / AFP PHOTO
US President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with Australian businessman Andrew Liveris during the USA Thank You Tour December 9, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. / AFP PHOTO
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By Deutsche Presse-Agentur

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US president-elect Donald Trump is naming Australian-American Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical Company, to lead a panel to promote US manufacturing.

The "American Manufacturing Council" will be "tasked with finding ways to bring industry back to America," Trump said at a rally with supporters late Friday in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Liveris praised Trump's economic plans: "You're paving the way ...with your policies to make it easier to do business in this country -not a red-tape country but a red-carpet country for American businesses."

It was not immediately clear from their comments if Liveris was to head the Manufacturing Council, an obscure panel within the CommerceDepartment. The private-sector advisory committee reports to the commerce secretary.

Liveris, a Darwin, Australia, native with dual citizenship, wrote a2011 book, "Make It in America: The Case for Reinventing theEconomy." He has previously served on similar government advisory committees on industry in both the US and Australia.

Michigan-based Dow Chemical had 2015 sales of nearly 49 billion dollars. Liveris said the company has invested 7 billion dollars in recent years in US expansions that have added 7,000 jobs.

"And we aren't stopping there," he said. "We're gonna add value by getting this incredible work force in front of me - this incredibleAmerican worker, this incredible Michigan worker - and we're going to put you all to work. We've got ideas and we've got plans."

Liveris announced a new "innovation centre" to be built by the company, adding another 700 research and development jobs inMichigan, which he said were motivated by the policies he expects when Trump takes office on January 20.

"We aren't waiting. We're going ahead," Liveris said. "We're going to use American hard work and American brains."


Trump repeated his vow to cancel US participation in theTrans-Pacific Partnership, a recently concluded trade deal, and renegotiate other trade agreements.

Earlier Friday, the president-elect's transition team announced that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, a long-time Trump confidant,will not serve in the next administration.

Giuliani had been on the short-list for secretary of state, but removed his name from consideration during a meeting with the president-elect last month.

"He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and, as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date," Trump said in a statement.

The mayor who led New York during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks "would have been an outstanding member of the cabinet in several roles, but I fully respect and understand his reasons for remaining in the private sector," Trump said.

Giuliani said only that he would continue work with his law and consulting firm.

Trump has said he could name his secretary of state next week, with2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and formerCIA director David Petraeus remaining among those being considered.

Trump has been filling out his team since winning election last month, and media reports citing unnamed sources on Friday said he was set to name Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers to lead the InteriorDepartment and Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn to lead the NationalEconomic Council.

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