Radio Sputnik talked to Jason Perry, the head of the University of Utah's Hinckley Institute of Politics, who oversaw economic development for Utah State under Huntsman.
“If you look at Huntsman’s experience and this would be his third appointment as ambassador, you can see what he did when he was ambassador to China, along with Russia, China would be considered one of the complex and high-profile relations for the United States and he had proven himself to be exceptional in worth of foreign policy, security and trade. So, if there is anyone in the US right now that understands big power relationships, its Jon Huntsman Jr.,” Perry said.
Perry further said that Huntsman wasn’t an ardent supporter of Donald Trump; on the other hand, he was a critic of some of his policies, but that dynamic shouldn’t cause any problems for Huntsman’s appointment.
“I don’t think it should cause any problems with his appointment, furthermore it shows that President Trump understands the importance of this relation and he is going to overlook some of those statements because he hasn’t with other potential candidates and this one I think is a signal that he understands just how important it is to get the right person in this position,” Perry said.
Jon Huntsman’s family company owns manufacturing operations in Russia and he was involved in the company’s early business dealings here. Could that lead to a possible conflict of interests and can this information be used against Huntsman?
According to Perry it cannot be. “I don’t know of anything that can be used against him. Jon Huntsman Jr. and his family have had experience in Russia in the past. They had a joint venture in the 1980’s and I think it’s going to be viewed as a positive and not a negative.”
Talking about what Huntsman could bring to Russia as an ambassador, Perry said that his experience is very well rounded, as he was a governor of a state that is very global in nature and moreover, he is a seasoned diplomat.
“Huntsman understands the complexity of these relationships and he understands how important it is to build them. Words matter to him and he understands that these relationships aren’t just sound bites or labels but they are true policies and interests on every side. He has shown in the past particularly in China, that he can navigate a very well understanding of both sides of an issue,” the head concluded.