McConnell Introduces U.N. Ambassador Nominee Kelly Knight Craft at Senate Hearing
‘Thank you for the opportunity to introduce this nominee — a distinguished stateswoman and leader, and of course a proud Kentuckian. The Bluegrass is proud of this daughter of our Commonwealth. I’m confident our entire nation will be proud of the fine service she will render as our Ambassador to the United Nations.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee in support of Kelly Knight Craft of Kentucky, President Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations:
“Thank you for the opportunity to introduce this nominee — a distinguished stateswoman and leader, and of course a proud Kentuckian. The Bluegrass is proud of this daughter of our Commonwealth. I’m confident our entire nation will be proud of the fine service she will render as our Ambassador to the United Nations.
“Of course, most of you are already familiar with Kelly Knight Craft. Almost exactly two years ago, I came here to introduce her nomination to be our Ambassador to Canada. I noted her impressive record of public service. I talked about her unanimous Senate confirmation back in 2007, to serve as an alternate representative for our delegation to the UN General Assembly.
“I described how her performance in that role, including her work on the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, showed that Ms. Craft is a talented consensus-builder. And I predicted that, if confirmed, she would skillfully manage America’s relationship with our neighbor to the north. A week later, her nomination was reported favorably out of this committee on a voice vote. And one week after that, she was confirmed by the full Senate. Again, by voice vote.
“So let’s talk about the past two years — and the impressive record of the first-ever woman to serve as our Ambassador to Canada. Historically, that post is not one that is typically viewed as one of the tougher assignments in the diplomatic corps. But as it would turn out, Ambassador Craft’s tenure brought a host of tough issues and thorny questions to the fore.
“Everything from rethinking NAFTA to navigating real differences between Canada’s leadership and our administration. The relationship was tested. And by all accounts, our Ambassador rose to the occasion and did an outstanding job. On economics, she helped achieve the successful trade negotiations that culminated in the USMCA; helped secure a new chapter for the Regulatory Cooperation Council between the two countries; and defended access for U.S. businesses.
“On the diplomatic front, her time as Ambassador has seen greater cooperation and coordination on numerous critical fronts. Canada joined the front lines of the new U.S.-led international sanctions on Russia over its actions against Ukraine. Canada’s played an important role with the Lima Group, the international coalition committed to a peaceful and democratic transition for Venezuela. And just recently, Ambassador Craft spoke out forcefully when China unlawfully detained Canadian citizens. This is a record of significant achievement. It reflects hard work, careful study, and great skill. And she has won respect both at home and abroad.
“The current premier of Ontario has reflected, quote, ‘Every premier I know thinks the world of her… She really proved herself over some tough times.’ And watching Ambassador Craft’s tenure, a former Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. has concluded, quote, ‘she’s done the job very well.’ As it happens, I am actually meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau tomorrow to discuss the USMCA. I know that our conversations will only be building on a huge amount of successful work by Ambassador Craft to forge the path.
“So Mr. Chairman, following a successful tenure from Ambassador Haley, it is vital that our next UN Ambassador possess the knowledge, talent, and experience to continue skillfully advancing our nation’s interests and values. That’s why I am proud to say Ambassador Craft is a phenomenal selection by the president. I am proud to support her nomination. And I am proud to introduce her this morning.”