Now that Lighthizer is in place, he can work with Congress to set negotiating priorities before the U.S., Canada and Mexico start trade talks later this year. The U.S. has a glaring trade deficit with Mexico, NAFTA put downward pressure on wages and regulation for social welfare, accentuated job losses in the most vulnerable communities, and put the governance of global trade in the hands of the most powerful corporate interests in the United States.
"I firmly believe that when my grandchildren talk to their grandchildren, they will say that President Trump permanently reversed the unsafe trajectory of American trade, put America first, made our farmers, ranchers and workers richer and the country safer", Lighthizer said at the ceremony.
Canada's top diplomat and its defense chief will be in Washington on Monday and Tuesday as trade tensions mount between the two North American neighbors.
According to a press release, Ambassador Lighthizer practiced worldwide trade law for more than 30 years. Lighthizer's experience includes deputy trade representative under President Ronald Reagan, chief of staff for the Senate Finance Committee, as well as direct private sector experience in enforcing trade rules on behalf of his clients.
"I'm honored for the opportunity to serve President Trump and Vice President Pence by working for fair and free trade that benefits all Americans", said Ambassador Lighthizer via statement. Instead, his administration is pursuing an "America First" trade plan that relies heavily on stronger enforcement of USA trade laws and existing trade agreements, while seeking to renegotiate some of them to more favorable terms for the United States. On Thursday, Lighthizer will travel to Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.