WASHINGTON, April 25, 2017 – Robert Lighthizer is one step closer to becoming the next United States Trade Representative after the Senate Finance Committee approved his nomination on Tuesday.

The vote had been held up by demands for pension and health care action for out-of-work miners as well as calls for a waiver due to Lighthizer’s previous work for foreign governments. The committee unanimously approved both the waiver and Lighthizer’s nomination in a meeting lasting a little more than 20 minutes.

In a statement, Utah Republican Orrin Hatch, who chairs the Finance Committee, said he was glad to see Lighthizer advance “after months of unprecedented and unrelated demands.

“With today’s vote, we are one step closer to advancing a strong trade agenda that benefits American businesses, workers, and consumers, and protects U.S. intellectual property rights abroad,” Hatch said. “He will play a vital role in increasing American trade around the globe, and I look forward to his nomination being considered by the full Senate.”

At his confirmation hearing in March, Lighthizer, a lawyer who served as a deputy trade rep in the Reagan administration, promised to prioritize agriculture exports as part of trade policy through the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement and pursuing bilateral agreements with countries like Japan.


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