US & Canada

Robert Lighthizer: Trump trade pick opposes China policies

Mr Trump Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Lighthizer, who currently works as a trade lawyer in Washington DC, has been advising Mr Trump on trade issues.

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen a longtime opponent of Chinese trade policies as US trade representative.

Robert Lighthizer will become America's chief trade negotiator, tasked with reducing the US trade deficits which Mr Trump criticised during his campaign.

Mr Lighthizer, who served under President Ronald Reagan, will "fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first", Mr Trump said.

He is considered to have deep roots with the Republican establishment.

He is known as an advocate for greater trade protection, and an expert in trade law who worked under Mr Reagan in the 1980s as deputy US trade representative to block cheap Japanese imports of steel and vehicles.

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

The people around the president-elect

"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," Mr Lighthizer responded.

He has been supportive of Mr Trump's defensive approach to trade with China since at least 2011 when he praised his possible presidential candidacy in an op-ed.

Like Mr Trump, he has opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact and has called for tariffs on Chinese imports to the US.

Under Mr Trump, he will work closely on trade issues with Wilbur Ross, who has been picked for commerce secretary, and Peter Navarro, a vocal China hawk who has been tapped to lead the new White House National Trade Council.

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