Obama names Hyatt hotels heiress Penny Pritzker as Commerce chief

WASHINGTON (AFP) - United States President Barack Obama on Thursday nominated billionaire Hyatt hotels heiress and major Democratic campaign contributor Penny Pritzker as commerce secretary.

Filling out his second term economics team, Mr Obama also named Mr Michael Froman, his top advisor on international economics, to be US Trade Representative and defend US trade interests around the world.

Ms Pritzker "is one of our country's most distinguished business leaders", Mr Obama said.

"She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of an entrepreneur. She is going to make America a magnet for good jobs."

Mr Obama called Mr Froman, who will be in charge of hashing out major trade pacts with Asia and Europe, "an extraordinarily tough negotiator".

"He does not rest until he's delivered the best possible deal," Mr Obama said.