The Senate Finance Committee held a confirmation hearing in September on nominations for several trade-related positions. Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) both stated their support for the nominees, including Michael W. Punke as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, Islam Siddiqui as the USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator, Paul Piquado as Assistant Secretary of Commerce, and David Johanson as a Commissioner of the ITC. The nominations have yet to be sent to the full Senate.

Separately, USTR announced the U.S. nominations for the WTO Appellate Body: Tom Graham, currently Senior Counsel at King & Spalding; and John Greenwald, currently a Partner at Cassidy Levy Kent LLP. These nominations are for 2-year terms beginning in December 2011.