Lighthizer Confirmed for USTR
May 12, 2017
The US Senate confirmed Robert Lighthizer for United States Trade Representative on May 11, 2017 with a bipartisan vote of 82-14.
Lighthizer is a trade attorney and a partner with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. His career experience includes serving as deputy trade representative during the Reagan Administration.
President Trump nominated Lighthizer four months before his Senate confirmation, and his confirmation process encountered a delay. The Senate required him to get a waiver for the Cabinet nomination because he had worked for foreign governments on trade in the 1980s and 1990s.
His confirmation is seen as clearing the path for pursuing the Trump Administration’s trade agenda which includes renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Last month, AAEI co-signed a multi-association letter that was sent to the Senate supporting Lighthizer’s confirmation. The letter praised Lighthizer’s experience saying, “The person who serves as USTR must have knowledge and command of numerous highly technical areas of US and international law. Based on his previous tenure at the Office of USTR and many years practicing international trade law, we believe that Mr. Lighthizer is highly qualified to serve as USTR.”