Robert Lighthizer has been nominated by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump as the next U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).
Lighthizer perviously served as deputy USTR under President Ronald Reagan. He also who played a senior role during Bob Dole's 1996 presidential campaign and has more recently worked on trade issues as a lawyer, representing manufacturing and agricultural companies.
He has been known for being critical of China’s trade policies, which would coincide with the tough stance on trade with China that Trump has voiced.
At least one agricultural organization has expressed optimism about the selection of Lighthizer.
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) President Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, stated: “The American Farm Bureau Federation looks forward to working with United States Trade Representative nominee Robert Lighthizer. Mr. Lighthizer has had a long and distinguished career in trade, working in the White House, Senate and private sector to assure favorable trading conditions for American goods and services.
“America’s farmers and ranchers know unfair regulations, steep tariffs and senseless non-tariff barriers undermine our exports. We must work together to remove these obstacles to prosperity and identify new global opportunities that will benefit American agriculture.
“Economic growth in rural America depends on maintaining and increasing access to markets outside the United States. Since more than 95 percent of the world’s population lives outside our borders, expanding access to international markets is essential for our future success. We trust Mr. Lighthizer will work tirelessly to assure it.”
Trump names lawyer Lighthizer as top trade rep
NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump announced Tuesday he will nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative, picking an experienced trade official who has questioned the conservative movement's commitment to free trade.