Trump should select Sean Reyes for trade commission

President Trump should nominate Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to be the next chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Reyes, a rising star in politics with a record of success as Utah's attorney general, has proven to have strong ethics and would serve well. Looking at his record of achievement and resume indicates that Reyes would have an easy time being confirmed as the new chairman of the FTC.

Currently, the FTC is led by Acting Chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen who has been on the commission since April of 2012. Although Ohlausen already has direct experience in the FTC, Reyes would be a far better choice to lead the commission because it is in need of a new direction consistent with the idea of draining the swamp and upholding the highest ethical standards. The Trump administration needs to move swiftly to load up this bipartisan commission, because there are only two members active on the FTC today.

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Reyes has an impressive resume. He graduated summa cum laude from Brigham Young University and earned his law degree with honors from U.C. Berkeley in 1997. He then practiced law for 14 years as a partner at Parsons Behle & Latimer, the largest law firm in the State of Utah. When he ran, Attorney General Reyes secured over 60 percent of the vote in 2014.

 

Reyes is known by many as a political rock star. He completely turned around a Utah Attorney General’s office that had been rocked by scandal. According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Reyes’ predecessor John Swallow “resigned amid a political scandal that alleged bribery and corruption inside his office.” Reyes has been widely praised as turning around the soiled reputation of that office.

Reyes leads by example and required the resignation of all his leadership, demanding that they reapply for jobs to prove his commitment to hire on the basis of merit. He has focused on protecting Utah’s citizens from violence and internet predatory activities. Reyes has garnered public support for his efforts in his home state and he has acted in a manner that would be welcomed in Washington, D.C.

Reyes was active in suits against the Obama administration on numerous issues that impacted his home state of Utah as the state’s attorney general, proving that he was an active protector of the rights of his home state. He has taken on the moneyed interests in his home state and is expected to bring that attitude to Washington.

The New York Post reported on Feb. 17, 2017 that tech giant Google is nervous about Reyes’ possible nomination because Reyes may be likely to reopen a probe of Google for anti-competitive behavior. “Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes — on Trump’s short list of possible FTC leaders — likely would open a probe into whether Alphabet improperly pressured mobile phone makers to install Google apps on their phones. The FTC, when conducting an investigation into Google that closed in January 2013, never looked deeply into that issue, two sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said.”

Reyes wrote a letter a year ago to encourage the FTC to reopen the probe, because of new information and developments that became available indicating anti-competitive behavior on the part of Google. Not many have the conviction or resolve to take on one of the most popular companies in the country, but Reyes did.

For all of these reasons and more, Reyes should be selected by President Trump to lead the FTC.

Andrew Langer is president of the Institute for Liberty.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.