In other news, former Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) nations are reportedly close to signing a deal to move on with the agreement without the United States. They have an agreement "in principle."
Meanwhile, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke is reportedly considering resigning because the White House has pressured her to end protected status for Hondurans.
Finally, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has another major conflict of interest. He apparently owns a shipping business that will transport liquidized gas. This is a conflict because Ross is responsible for deals involving natural gas.
The shipping company’s own documents suggest that Ross’ company may benefit from an important initiative that he has led as commerce secretary: securing a trade agreement with China to increase U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The shipping company in which Ross' financial partnerships still have a 31 percent stake, Navigator Holdings, exports a different energy product, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). But Navigator’s own statements, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, say that when there’s a global expansion in LNG production facilities, that benefits the trade in LPG. That in turn could help Navigator’s bottom line, and thus Ross himself.
Ross’s heavy involvement in the trade agreement with China raises the question of whether his work as commerce secretary has had a “direct and predictable” effect on Navigator’s bottom line, potentially pushing the bounds of federal conflict of interest laws, according to Richard Painter, who served as the White House’s chief ethics lawyer during the George W. Bush administration.