Trump taps Lighthizer for trade representative

Trump taps Lighthizer for trade representative
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden slams Trump over golf gif hitting Clinton Trump Jr. declines further Secret Service protection: report Report: Mueller warned Manafort to expect an indictment MORE will nominate Robert Lighthizer for U.S. trade representative, his transition team announced early Tuesday.

“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,” Trump said.

“He 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," he added. "He will do an amazing job helping turn around the failed trade policies which have robbed so many Americans of prosperity.”

Trump’s team said Lighthizer will work closely with Secretary of Commerce-designate Wilbur Ross and White House National Trade Council head Peter Navarro on policies to “shrink our trade deficit, expand economic growth, strengthen our manufacturing base and help stop the exodus of jobs from our shores.” 

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“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,” said Lighthizer, who served as deputy U.S. trade representative in the Reagan administration.

Trump's transition team said Lighthizer helped negotiate about two dozen bilateral international trade deals during the Reagan years.

Lighthizer was also the Senate Finance Committee's chief of staff and has extensive experience in international trade law, working at the Skadden, Arps Slate, Meagher and Flom law firm for over three decades.

Trump has repeatedly criticized global trade agreements, however, arguing they favor other nations at the expense of the American worker.

Trump is now one step closer to rounding out his Cabinet. He has yet to name his selections to lead the departments of Veterans Affairs and Agriculture as well as his choice for chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Mark Hensch contributed to this report, which was updated at 7:29 a.m.