E.U. Trade Chief Quits After ‘GolfGate’


On Tuesday evening, leaders of Ireland’s governing coalition, including the taoiseach, or prime minister, Micheal Martin, said in a joint statement that Mr. Hogan had been in breach of public health guidelines, and that his “delayed and hesitant release of information has undermined public confidence.”

As trade minister, Mr. Hogan, 60, occupied one of the most important positions in the European Commission, the bloc’s bureaucracy. A large, boisterous and blunt man, Mr. Hogan, a 6-foot-5 former farmer, was considered a good choice to represent Europe to the Trump administration, which has made the American trade deficit a major issue in international relations. The bilateral trade relationship is worth about $1 trillion a year.

“Personality matters, especially with the United States,’’ said Mujtaba Rahman, chief Europe analyst for the Eurasia Group. “He could deal with Trump and Robert Lighthizer,” President Trump’s trade representative, he said. Just last week, Washington and Brussels agreed on a tariff reduction deal — modest, but the first in a long time.

Ursula von der Leyen, the Commission president, will need to choose another Irish citizen to replace Mr. Hogan, though not necessarily with the same portfolio. There are numerous possibilities, including David O’Sullivan, who has much experience in Brussels. Mr. O’Sullivan was a senior trade official until 2010 and was most recently the bloc’s ambassador in Washington.

Importantly, Mr. Hogan’s top deputy, Sabine Weyand, is expected to remain. Ms. Weyand, a German who had previously worked on Brexit, is considered one of the stars of Brussels, with a sharp eye for detail.



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