January 5, 2017: US president-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday named Robert Lighthizer to be his chief trade negotiator. Lighthizer is considered a harsh critic of China’s trade practices.
Trump, who promised during his presidential campaign to renegotiate international trade deals like NAFTA and punish companies that ship work overseas, said that Lighthizer would help ‘fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first’.
Lighthizer served as deputy US trade representative under former Republican President Ronald Reagan. His return to the US administration follows nearly three decades as a lawyer representing US steelmakers and other companies in anti-dumping and anti-subsidy cases.
He has argued that China has failed to live up to commitments made in 2001 when it joined the WTO and that tougher measures are needed to change the system.