Ron Kirk

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Ron Kirk

Ron Kirk is a former Philip Morris consultant and former mayor of Dallas who was named on December 18, 2008 by Barack Obama as his choice to be the next U.S. Trade Representative.[1][2] Kirk is a partner at the law firm of Vinson & Elkins LLP, whose website lists as a specialty defending the tobacco industry as well as the pharmaceutical and chemical industries against product liability lawsuits.[3]

Ron Kirk served as Mayor of Dallas, Texas from 1995 until 2001, and in 1994, he was the Texas Secretary of State.[4]

Mr. Kirk's past tobacco industry ties are especially relevant to his proposed new position as United States Trade Representative given ongoing efforts by members of Congress and public health organizations to exclude tobacco products from all U.S. trade liberalization agreements and to make sure that the bilateral and multilateral trade agreements involving the United States do not interfere with the global Framework Convention on Tobacco Control treaty (which the United States has yet to ratify) or with any countries’ efforts to prevent and reduce tobacco use and its many harms and costs.[5][6]

SourceWatch resources

External resources


Ron Kirk, Partner
Vinson and Elkins
Trammell Crow Center
2001 Ross Avenue
Suite 3700
Dallas, TX 75201-2975
Tel 214.220.7968
Fax 214.999.7968
Email: (replace the word "AT" with "@")


  1. Weldon R. Denman, FET Field Director, Regions 8 & 9, Current F.E.T. Status - Region 8 & 9 Memorandum. February 17, 1994. Philip Morris Bates No. 2073974836
  2. Doug Palmer, Reuters Obama to pick Ron Kirk as U.S. trade chief: source December 18, 2008
  3. Vinson & Elkins company Web site Products Liabiity page, accessed December 18, 2008
  4. Vinson and Elkins Web site Ron Kirk biosketch, accessed December 18, 2008
  5. Henry Waxman, Lloyd Doggett, Richard J. Durbin, U.S. Congress Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Letter to the President 9 pp. November 18, 2003
  6. Matt Meyers, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids; Cass Wheeler, American Heart Association; John Seffrin, American Cancer Society; John F. Banzhaf, Action on Smoking and Health, U.S.; Prakit Vathesatogkit, Action on Smoking and Health, Thailand; John Kirkwood, American Lung Association; Robert Weissman, Essential Action; Hatai Chitanondh, Thailand Health Promotion Institute & National Health Foundation Letter to the U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick 3 pp. December 9, 2003

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