Gerald R. Ford photo

Remarks at the Swearing In of Frederick B. Dent as Special Representative for Trade Negotiations.

March 26, 1975

Mr. Secretary:

This is a really great occasion. You become, after the swearing-in ceremony, an official member of the White House family.

Unfortunately, it means that you have to leave the Department of Commerce, and you go from "Mr. Secretary" to "Mr. Ambassador," but you did such a fine job over in the Department of Commerce that when we were looking for someone who would take on this new responsibility, you were a person that I knew and everybody knew would do a first-class job.

Now, you have got great difficulties ahead of you. You have to deal in this new capacity as a Special Trade Representative with some 100-plus foreign countries, negotiating the very delicate trade problems between other countries and ourselves and between all countries together.

But you also have an added difficulty, and that is convincing the Congress that you are carrying out the mission that was given to you and to this Administration to make the trade legislation work for the benefit of the United States and the world as a whole.

I don't envy the difficulties you have, but I am confident that you can carry them out in an outstanding way.

It is a great privilege and pleasure for me to participate in the swearing in.

You have had some outstanding predecessors, such as Chris Herter, who is known by many here. You follow in the footsteps of Bill Eberle, who did a fine job in working with the Congress to get the legislation through. But now you will undertake--as a businessman, as a top Government official, and as a representative of our country--a very momentous mission.

I congratulate you on the job you have done, and I wish you well in your new responsibilities. We are mighty proud to have you in this great and important responsibility.

So, Judge Chapman, will you kindly proceed and see that Fred gets properly sworn in?

Note: The President spoke at 10:53 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House. Judge Robert F. Chapman of the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina administered the oath of office.

Mr. Dent's response to the President's remarks is printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 11, p. 307).

Gerald R. Ford, Remarks at the Swearing In of Frederick B. Dent as Special Representative for Trade Negotiations. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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