Ms. Cantwell also said she believed Ms. Raimondo would be a departure from President Donald J. Trump’s commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross. “I think he and the President spent a lot more time shaking their fists at the world community than engaging them on policies that were really going to help markets and help us move forward with getting our products in the door.”
A graduate of Yale University and Oxford University, Ms. Raimondo was a founding employee at Village Ventures, an investment firm backed by Bain Capital. She also co-founded her own venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital, before being elected treasurer and then governor of Rhode Island.
The first female governor of the state, she was known for introducing a centrist agenda that included training programs, fewer regulations and reduced taxes for businesses. She also led a restructuring of the state’s pension programs, clashing with unions in the process.
Ms. Raimondo drew criticism from some Republicans in her nomination hearing in January, when she declined to commit to keeping certain restrictions in place on the exports that could be sent to Chinese telecom firm Huawei.
Under Mr. Trump, the Commerce Department played an outsized role in trade policy, levying tariffs on imported aluminum and steel for national security reasons, investigating additional tariffs on cars, and placing a variety of curbs on technology exports to China.