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Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Trump has selected the next FTC chairman and minority commissioner. The White House announced Trump plans to nominate Joseph Simons, a Washington antitrust attorney who's served two tours at the FTC, to the chairmanship. Rohit Chopra, a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, will be nominated as a commissioner.

What to expect: Simons is seen as a traditionalist when it comes to enforcing antitrust laws, meaning he likely won't revamp the way the government defines markets when looking at the dominance of large tech companies. He'll undoubtedly be questioned on the topic during his confirmation hearing.

  • For example, he helped to develop a technique for market definition that was incorporated into the Justice Department and FTC's merger guidelines, which he's unlikely to veer from.
  • "He's not an ideologue," said a source who knows Simons. "His approach is finding the right result. He's not going in trying to make a point."
  • He's not as well-known in privacy and data security circles, which is the other major policy area under the FTC's purview. But he is known as a protege of Tim Muris, who was FTC chairman during the G.W. Bush administration and helped establish the agency's privacy and data security programs.
  • "I don't think we'll see a major sea change from what the FTC is doing under the current chair because of lot of the work that's being done today goes back to work done under Muris," said Janis Kestenbaum, former chief legal counsel to former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, now partner at law firm Perkins Coie. "He has a lot of institutional knowledge."

Democratic Commissioner: Chopra, the nominee for a Democratic slot on the panel, is known for expertise on financial services issues, particularly in the area of student lending, and was assistant director in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has been an ally of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been vocal about reigning in outsized corporate power.

  • "He won a lot of fans in the notoriously hard-to-please consumer advocate community," said a source who's worked with Chopra. "He has a reputation for being a good listener but also very effective at weighing in on the issues."
  • As a progressive-leaning advocate, he'll need to pick his battles wisely with his Republican colleagues to be effective on the issues he cares about. He will probably focus on consumer protection issues, given his background.

Third nomination: Noah Phillips, currently chief counsel to Sen. John Cornyn, is expected to be tapped as a Republican commissioner. His areas of expertise include privacy and antitrust matters.

Go deeper

Scoop: U.S. begins denying Afghan immigrants

Afghan refugees on a bus bound for temporary housing after arriving in Greece. Photo: Byron Smith/Getty Images

The Biden administration has begun issuing denials to Afghans seeking to emigrate to the United States through the humanitarian parole process, after a system that typically processes 2,000 applications annually has been flooded with more than 30,000.

Why it matters: Afghans face steeper odds and longer processes for escaping to the U.S., despite the earlier sweeping efforts by the Biden administration to assist its allies. Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups say the government has set untenable barriers to a safe haven in the U.S.

47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Dems invoke Robert Byrd to sell Manchin on Senate rules changes

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photos: Diana Walker, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A small group of Senate Democrats is privately invoking the legacy of late West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd in an effort to sway Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) to support their plans to change the chamber's rules, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Manchin — who holds Byrd's Senate seat — has often referenced his predecessor's strong moral conviction and insistence on preserving the Senate as an institution, as justification for some of his tough positions.

House votes to ban imports from Xinjiang over forced labor concerns

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The House voted 428-1 on Wednesday to pass a bill that would ban all imports from the Chinese region of Xinjiang unless the U.S. government determines that the products were not made with forced labor.

Why it matters: Both the Trump and Biden administrations, as well as several foreign parliaments, have recognized China's repression of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang as genocide.