Bryson No Longer Secretary of Commerce
John Bryson has resigned as the commerce secretary, as of Wednesday. His resignation comes only days after he suffered a seizure and hit two cars in an incident that is still shrouded in mystery.
Bryson was commerce secretary for just eight months and said in a personal letter addressed to President Obama that the commerce department needed new leadership since his seizure could create an unneeded distraction at a time when all focus needs to be on the economy.
Bryson was chosen in late 2011 as the commerce secretary, in part to act as a liaison between the administration and the business community. However, those set of plans never panned out. Bryson rarely was seen at business events or as a spokesman in the news media. One administration official who spoke only with a promise of anonymity said Bryson was not as effective as they had originally hoped he would be.
He instead led the department in high-profile investigation into Chinese subsidies that firms in the U.S. said had artificially driven prices down of Chinese products sold in the U.S.
In May, in one of its biggest decisions ever made of its kind the government of the U.S. said it was imposing tariffs, for anti-dumping, of greater than 31% on solar panels made in China. The announcement caused a great deal of anger from Beijing officials.
Bryson also helped keep President Obama’s promise from 2010 to double exports in the U.S. within five years. For the past two years, the U.S. has stayed on track to achieve that, although the China and European economic problems could slow the momentum.