Trump Nominates Robert Lighthizer for Trade Representative

Served as deputy trade rep in Reagan administration

Robert Lighthizer was a deputy trade representative in President Ronald Reagan's administration. (Courtesy Skadden D.C.)

President-elect Donald Trump nominated Robert Lighthizer to be his pick for U.S. trade representative, his transition team announced Tuesday.

Lighthizer served as deputy trade representative during former President Ronald Reagan's administration.


Lighthizer “has extensive experience striking agreements that protect some of the most important sectors of our economy, and has repeatedly fought in the private sector to prevent bad deals from hurting Americans,” Trump said in a statement.

Lighthizer called his appointment “a very high honor to represent our nation and to serve in President-elect Trump’s administration.”

“I am fully committed to President-elect Trump’s mission to level the playing field for American workers and forge better trade policies which will benefit all Americans.”

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which oversees trade policy, said Lighthizer will be “a critical player in ensuring that America’s trade agenda reflects U.S. commercial interests, while helping set the standard for global trade.”

“Ensuring our past, present, and future trade agreements are the best possible deals for American workers and job creators is a shared goal supported by pro-trade lawmakers and the Trump Administration alike,” Hatch said in a statement. 

Armed with bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority, the incoming Trump Administration has a unique opportunity to pursue new, bilateral trade pacts of the highest caliber that can be submitted to Congress for an up or down vote with no amendments.  As the world and our economic competitors move to expand their global footprints, we can’t afford to be left behind in securing strong deals that will increase access to new markets for American-made products and services, protect our intellectual property rights abroad, and ensure domestic businesses can successfully compete in the 21st century global economy,” Hatch said.

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