The postponement came after Democrat John Kerry had derided the job as "too little, too late" for the industry. Kerry's presidential campaign noted that the expected nominee had set up a manufacturing operation in China.
The Commerce Department said a news conference was scrubbed because of scheduling conflicts. It was not clear when the appointment would be announced.
While the administration did not publicly identify the nominee, U.S. Senator Ben Nelson said in a statement that it was Tony Raimondo, chairman and chief executive officer of Behlen Manufacturing Cimpany, based in Columbus.
Behlen is a medium-sized manufacturing company with four plants in the United States. It employs more than 1,000 workers.