Why Donald Trump Picked Robert Lighthizer For United States Trade Representative

AP/John Amis

President-elect Donald Trump says he will nominate former Ambassador Robert Lighthizer to be U.S. Trade Representative.

“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,” Trump said in a statement. “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 will do an amazing job helping turn around the failed trade policies which have robbed so many Americans of prosperity.”

Lighthizer served under President Ronald Reagan as Deputy United States Trade Representative, according to the Trump transition team, and played a major role in developing trade policy during his administration.

He negotiated nearly two dozen international trade agreements on multiple projects.

“These agreements were uniformly tough and frequently resulted in significant reductions in the shipment of unfairly traded imports into the United States,” the transition team said in a statement.

According to the transition team, Lighthizer will work with Secretary of Commerce-designate Wilbur Ross and the head of the newly created White House National Trade Council Peter Navarro to implement policies shrinking the American trade deficit, expanding economic growth, and strengthening manufacturing.

“It is a very high honor to represent our nation and to serve in President-elect Trump’s administration as the U.S. Trade Representative,” Lighthizer said in a statement. “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.”