Bush names Teamsters leaders to advisory panel on trade

President Bush, who has tried to woo organized labor into the Republicans’ political camp, on Wednesday named Teamsters President James P. Hoffa to an administration advisory panel on trade.

Bush also named Paul Beckner, president of the conservative Citizens for a Sound Economy, a group that advocates lower taxes and less government, to a two-year term on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

The large panel is made up of industry and labor leaders who give advice to U.S. negotiators as they pursue new trade agreements with other nations.

The White House has made reaching out to organized labor, traditionally allied with Democrats, a priority.

The Teamsters and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters are among a handful of conservative-leaning unions that Bush and his advisers have targeted since taking office almost two years ago.

Hoffa, for instance, was a guest of honor at Bush’s State of the Union speech last year and worked with the White House on efforts in Congress to open an Alaskan wildlife refuge to oil drilling.