Lighthizer confirmed as USA trade representative

According to the Pew Research Center, 51 percent of US citizens believe the trade deal is good for the USA while 76 percent of Canadians and 60 percent of Mexicans find it positive.

Late last month President Trump signed an executive order that required the Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and the USTR, in consultation with several federal agencies, to "conduct comprehensive performance reviews" of all of the USA free trade agreements and "renegotiate or terminate" policies that the Administration believes are harmful to the United States.

"I agree with President Trump that we should have an "America First" trade policy", Lighthizer told a Senate committee earlier this year.

Thursday's vote was important because Congress had required the Trump administration to have a confirmed trade representative before launching talks on re-negotiating NAFTA, which was signed by the US, Mexico and Canada in 1992 and took effect in 1994. "America's food and beverage industry manufacturers - companies large and small from coast to coast - are affected by USA trade agreements and trade-related policies, chief among them US sugar policy".

The appointment of Lighthizer, a corporate lawyer and former deputy U.S. trade representative in the Reagan administration, was confirmed yesterday (11 May) in a vote of 82-14. Mexico runs a sizeable trade deficit with China, the destination of about 10 percent of its exports. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who spent the previous eight years in Congress fighting a Democratic White House on trade.

Lighthizer's philosophy, Rosenthal suggests, essentially boils down to: "How can we afford to be unilateral free traders when the Chinese don't reciprocate?"

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The report also added the Trump administration may also move its attention towards the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement in the near future. In 2008, he wrote a column in The New York Times criticizing McCain, then the Republican presidential candidate, for his unstinting support of free trade.

The minister said expanding bilateral commerce, not restricting it, was key to reducing the U.S. -Mexico trade deficit. He also has represented the United States at meetings of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and meetings related to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (the precursor to the World Trade Organization).

Guajardo said the trip to China would be in September but did not provide details.

For the poll, Pew surveyed 3,500 people in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

Under Lighthizer, Wolff says, "trade policy is going to get a lot more muscular".

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