Robert Lighthizer was nominated to be Donald Trump's U.S. Trade Representative, the president-elect's transition team announced early Tuesday.
Lighthizer held the role of deputy trade representative under President Reagan. His trade deals "were uniformly tough and frequently resulted in significant reductions in the shipment of unfairly traded imports," according to the transition team's release.
What is a Trade Representative?
The U.S. Trade Representative -- a Cabinet level position -- is the chief trade spokesman, negotiator and trade advisor to the president, working to ensure Americans have access to imports and that American exports have access to the global market.
The U.S. Trade Representative is on the board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Export-Import Bank and is a member of the National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies.
He will do an amazing job helping turn around the failed trade policies which have robbed so many Americans of prosperity.
"Ambassador Lighthizer is going to do an outstanding job representing the United States as we fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first... and has repeatedly fought in the private sector to prevent bad deals from hurting Americans," Trump said in a statement.
NAFTA and TPP
During the election, Trump railed against what he felt were trade deals that put U.S. industry at a disadvantage, including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), which is still being negotiated. He has also threatened to place tariffs on trading partners like Mexico and China.
Lighthizer will work on trade policy with Wilbur Ross, Trump's pick for Commerce Secretary, and Peter Navarro with the White House National Trade Council.
I am fully committed to President-elect Trump’s mission to level the playing field for American workers and forge better trade policies
Lighthizer has led the international trade law practice at the Skadden, Arps Slate, Meagher and Flom law firm for more than three decades.
He also struck a major trade deal regarding steel, which Trump has touted as an American industry in need of revival.
Trump's remaining Cabinet positions include the heads of the departments of Veterans Affairs and Agriculture, as well as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
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