Donald Trump’s nominees to cabinet and cabinet-level posts in his new administration have been appearing before Senate committees in recent weeks. Additional hearings are expected in the coming weeks, after the inauguration. Brookings experts have been offering their analyses of the nominees and the policy issues they will face in their new jobs, should they be confirmed by the full Senate. Although many of the committee hearings for these nominees have already occurred, the issues raised by our experts point to the policy challenges and opportunities the Trump administration will face.
Commerce – Wilbur Ross
Camron Kerry, a visiting fellow and former acting secretary of commerce, observed that “Ross evidently has deep experience with China, Korea, and Japan and is a sophisticated global player with experience in operating businesses and manufacturing as well as investing. His nomination nevertheless faces some important questions …”
Defense – James Mattis
Brookings President Strobe Talbott, writing about the hearings of both Rex Tillerson (State) and James Mattis, says the Trump administration faces a “welter of challenges” on its first day in office: “the simultaneous unraveling of the U.S.-led world order, loss of confidence among our allies; assertiveness of competing great powers; the dissolution of entire states; and the rise of barbarism, authoritarianism, and corrosive nationalism.”
Also, listen to Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon’s podcast episode about the foreign policy and national security nominees in the Trump transition.