The President today announced that he will nominate Robert S. Strauss to be Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, with the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Strauss is an attorney and the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
He was born on October 19, 1918, in Lockhart, Tex., and received an LL.B. degree from the University of Texas in 1941.
Since 1945 Strauss has been actively engaged in the practice of law in Dallas, Tex. He is a senior partner in the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, with offices in Dallas and Washington, D.C.
He is chairman of the board of Strauss Broadcasting Co., Dallas, and chairman of the board of the Valley View State Bank, also in Dallas.
Strauss served as national committeeman from the State of Texas from 1968 to 1972. During the 1968 national election, he served as cochairman of the Humphrey-Muskie campaign in Texas. In March 1970, he was elected treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and served as chairman of its National Finance Council.
During the 1972 general elections, Strauss served as chairman of the National Committee to Re-elect a Democratic Congress. In December 1972, he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
He is married and the father of three children.
The President also announced that he had approved an exception to the Guidelines on Conflict of Interest for Strauss.
Strauss will establish a blind trust with an independent trustee to hold his investment securities while he serves as Special Trade Representative. These securities are well diversified, except that 35% of the portfolio is represented by the stock of the Valley View State Bank and 30% by the stock in his family-owned Strauss Broadcasting Co. The retention of these securities requires the President's approval of the exception.
The President explained that his reasons for approving the exception are:
(1) As Special Trade Representative, Strauss will disqualify himself from acting on matters affecting the interest of either of those companies; such a disqualification will seldom, if ever, prevent his acting on a matter.
(2) To require Strauss to divest by sale of these securities would cause a serious depletion of his family assets because of the capital gains taxes he would have to pay.