"It is very important to have together a very good free trade agreement," Ms von der Leyen told a news conference to unveil her team for the next commission, which must still be approved by the European Parliament.
The EU is keen to champion the rules-based global trading system currently under attack from the Trump administration, and vulnerable to the escalating trade war between the US and China.
The appointment is a significant achievement for Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who had lobbied for Ireland to be given a key economic portfolio in the new European Commission.
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) September 10, 2019 In a statement congratulating Mr Hogan, Mr Varadkar said: "Ireland sought a major economic brief in the new European Commission, and I am very satisfied that we have secured it.
Phil Hogan's appointment as EU Trade Commissioner is a very positive development for Ireland. We sought a major economic brief in the new European Commission, and I am very satisfied that we have secured it.
Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee said having an Irish person as trade commissioner will "mean that our interests will be represented in any trade talks with some of our largest trading partners".
He said he looks forward to meeting British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in due course.
However, he said, whether this would be enough to get it through the House of Commons remains to be seen.
"But obviously we are going to do everything we possibly canto get Mr Trump to see the error of his ways and hopefully that he will be able to abandon some of the reckless behaviour that we have seen from him in relation to his relationship with China and describing the European Union as a security risk."
The new European Commission will boost its fight against climate change by making it a top portfolio to be handled by Frans Timmermans.
Mr Coveney said if Mr Hogan is asked to take up the trade portfolio, "that would be a really, really positive thing from an Irish perspective, but also from an EU perspective, because they would have somebody who knows how to get things done."Read more: RTÉ News
Hogan set for confirmation as new EU Trade CommissionerThe appointment of Phil Hogan means he will be the EU 's chief trade negotiator if and when free-trade negotiations commence between the EU and the United Kingdom after Brexit
Phil Hogan expected to be appointed as new EU Trade CommissionerIt follows his renomination as Ireland’s commissioner to the EU earlier this year.
Phil Hogan has been nominated as the new EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has been nominated as the new EU Trade Commissioner, following his renomination as Ireland's commissioner to the EU earlier this year