Trump To Name Robert Lighthizer to Trade Representative; 4 Major Slots Still Left To Fill

Robert Lighthizer, who previously worked in the Reagan administration is expected to be named as Donald Trump’s U.S. Trade Representative.

Major Garrett tweeted the following:

The Wall Street Journal reminds us that Trump is still looking to fill some important roles as well as find a way for his daughter, Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner to be part of his administration:

The president-elect is also still considering ways to try to bring into his administration two family members, daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who were close advisers to his campaign.

With a nominee for trade czar position, Mr. Trump has four major positions to fill: the secretaries of Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, the Director of National Intelligence and the head of the Council of Economic Advisers.

A top candidate for agriculture secretary is Sonny Perdue, a former Republican governor of Georgia, two people close to the transition said. Toby Cosgrove, chief executive of the Cleveland Clinic, had been in the running for the VA job, but has withdrawn his name.

As for Lighthizer, he has plenty of experience for this particular job:

Mr. Lighthizer has three decades of experience arguing for punitive tariffs on overseas companies. Given Mr. Trump’s deep skepticism of trade agreements such as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or Nafta, Mr. Lighthizer probably wouldn’t prioritize major new trade agreements, at least in the early days of the administration, according to people following Mr. Trump’s trade plans.

Still, Mr. Lighthizer has negotiating experience from his time in the Reagan administration, and if confirmed, he would take the lead in talks that could culminate in the bilateral deals that Mr. Trump’s team prefers—a departure, for instance, from President Barack Obama’s focus on a 12-nation Pacific deal.

Considering his experience, it’s also the kind of choice that makes it unlikely Trump will attempt to have import tariffs put into effect.