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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 27, 1993


(Washington, DC) President Clinton announced his intention today to nominate former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard to be the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.

"Our relationship with Canada is absolutely vital," said the President. "They are our largest trading partner and one of our closest neighbors. That's why I am nominating an Ambassador in whom I place such a high degree of trust -- my good friend Jim Blanchard. With a voice that will be clearly heard in both Ottawa and Washington, he will ensure that this important relationship continues to be productive for both countries."

Blanchard, currently a partner in the law firm of Verner, Liipfert, Bernhard, McPherson and Hand, was Governor of Michigan from 1983-90. In addition to leading his state's economic recovery and implementing a variety of innovative education and training programs, he worked closely with the Prime Minister of Canada and Premier of Ontario to improve trade relationships and address common environmental problems. He was awarded the International Freedom Festival's Freedom Award in recognition of his leadership in U.S.-Canada affairs.

Before his election to the governorship, Blanchard served four terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Economic Stabilization, he authored and steered to passage the Chrysler Loan Guarantee Act, which rescued that company from bankruptcy. He had previously been an Assistant Attorney General in Michigan, and a lawyer in private practice. He holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Michigan State University and a J.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Blanchard, 50, is married to Janet Blanchard, the White House's Assistant Director of Presidential Personnel. His son, Jay, is a recent graduate of Michigan State University.

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