Kirk Sworn in as U.S. Trade Chief

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    CHICAGO - DECEMBER 19: President-elect Barack Obama hugs former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, who he nominated for U.S. trade representative, during a press conference to announce his final cabinet members at the Drake Hotel December 19, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama also made a statement about the U.S. President George W. Bush's auto industry loan package. (Photo by Ann Ryan-Pool/Getty Images)

    Former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk was sworn in as new U.S. trade representative Friday

    Kirk is "a man who can make a real difference in the lives of American families," Vice President Joe Biden said shortly before administering the oath of office.
    "He's like a bulldog. He doesn't let anything go … (He will) help inspire a new environment of basic fairness in our trade relationships."
     
    Kirk's nomination came into question after a Senate Finance Committee found that he had failed to report as income $37,750 in honoraria collected for 16 speaking engagements between 2005 and 2007.
     
    Kirk paid the $9,975 he owed from amended returns.
     
    The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Kirk.
     
    The former mayor promises to help strike a new balance between a commitment to free trade and concerns relating to environmental and labor standards.