President-elect George Bush filled his top two trade jobs with a close friend and a Ford administration veteran and tapped longtime officials William Webster and Thomas Pickering for positions he once held himself - CIA director and U.N. ambassador.
Bush said Tuesday he has chosen Texas oilman Robert Mosbacher, a longtime friend and Republican fund-raiser, as commerce secretary and Washington attorney Carla Hills as U.S. trade representative. The latter move prompted quick Democratic criticism that Bush had selected someone without extensive experience in trade.Rounding out appointments to his economic team, Bush announced selection of Stanford University economist Michael Boskin to head the Council of Economic Advisers. Bush called Boskin "one of this nation's pre-eminent economists."
Bush said he was seeking continuity at the CIA when he asked Webster to stay on at the intelligence agency. President Reagan named Webster, a former FBI director, to the CIA job last year after the death of William Casey.
Pickering, 57, currently is ambassador to Israel. If confirmed by the Senate, he will replace Vernon Walters as ambassador to the United Nations.
Pickering's primary experience is in the Middle East, where he also was ambassador to Jordan from 1974 to 1978 during the Carter administration.
Transition officials said no additional appointments were expected until Bush returns from New York, where he was accompanying Reagan to a meeting Wednesday with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Bush said that his CIA director and U.N. ambassador will not have Cabinet rank but that both would attend Cabinet meetings when pertinent subjects were discussed.
"There is no point in the United Nations ambassador sitting around, as I did for a while, talking about agriculture policy," Bush said. Bush was U.N. ambassador under President Nixon and was CIA director during the Ford administration.
Bush's choice for trade representative, Hills, also served in the Ford administration, as secretary of housing and urban development.
The 54-year-old Hills is the first woman Bush has tapped for a high-level post, but the choice drew immediate criticism from Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, this year's Democratic vice presidential candidate.
He called Hills "a very able person" but criticized Bush's selection of a trade representative with little background in the field.
Bentsen said that while Hills probably will be confirmed by the Senate, "I had hoped, frankly, that we'd have someone from the business world who had extensive international experience in trade. That didn't happen."
The two trade jobs will be highly visible. The federal trade deficit totaled $170 billion last year and is running at an annual rate of $137 billion this year.
Mosbacher, 61, is a longtime friend of Bush's who headed his primary campaign fund-raising operation. He also was chairman of a Republican Party program that raised $24 million in $100,000 contributions for the general election campaign.
Mosbacher, worth an estimated $200 million from his oil and gas holdings and investments, is a former chairman of the National Petroleum Council.
The commerce secretary enforces trade policy and seeks more markets for U.S. goods, as well as serving as a voice for U.S. business within the government. Mosbacher also will oversee agencies ranging from the National Weather Service to the Census Bureau to the National Bureau of Standards.
The trade representative negotiates trade agreements with other countries and investigates complaints of unfair trade practices.
Bush had lunch Tuesday with Rep. Dan Rostenkowski, Democratic chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Afterward, Rostenkowski, D-Ill., said Bush was "very firm in the fact that he did not want to discuss the increasing of revenue" to combat the federal deficit.
Bush also met Tuesday with former Transportation Secretary Elizabeth Dole, whose name had been circulated as a potential U.N. ambassador. A Bush aide said no promises were made to her regarding administration jobs.