Trump Picks A China Hawk For His Trade Representative

Trump Picks A China Hawk For His Trade Representative
Veteran trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer will oversee the Trump administration's trade policies and negotiations.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked his administration's trade representative, and it looks like more bad news for China.

Robert Lighthizer is a veteran trade negotiator who worked in the Reagan administration and in the Senate Finance Committee under Bob Dole.

During a debate at the Economic Strategy Institute, Lighthizer said: "There is an element in China which is dangerous. I think everyone has to agree to that."

Lighthizer's also been a fierce critic of China's trade practices. He's called for a more aggressive trade relationship with the nation in the past.

As trade ambassador, Lighthizer will help craft and coordinate the Trump administration's trade policies with China and other nations. His office is also responsible for conducting trade negotiations.

The transition team notes Lighthizer will work closely with incoming Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and the head of the newly-created National Trade Council Peter Navarro to shape Trump's economic policy. Ross and Navarro have also expressed skepticism about China's trade relationship with the U.S. during Trump's campaign — though Ross is something of a recent convert to the cause.

Lighthizer could also help implement Trump's campaign promise to abandon massive free trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership in favor of smaller bilateral deals.

Lighthizer's appointment will have to be confirmed by the Senate.