The Telecommunications Industry Association appears pleased with President-elect Donald Trump's choice of ambassador Robert Lighthizer to the U.S. Trade Representative.
TIA members include Apple, Cisco, Dell and Microsoft.
Trump has pledged to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which he has called a bad deal, and to negotiate new and more U.S.-friendly trade deals.
“Ambassador Lighthizer is going to do an outstanding job representing the United States as we fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first,” President-elect Trump said in a statement. “He has extensive experience striking agreements that protect some of the most important sectors of our economy, and has repeatedly fought in the private sector to prevent bad deals from hurting Americans. He will do an amazing job helping turn around the failed trade policies which have robbed so many Americans of prosperity.”
TIA board chairman and interim CEO David Heard said the ambassador has "deep and impressive credentials on trade, including extensive experience handling trade issues at both USTR and on Capitol Hill, as well as in the private sector."
“By strongly advocating for America’s trading partners to abide by established global trading norms, the U.S. government can play a critical and important role in promoting exports of innovative U.S. goods and services," he said.
Lighthizer was the deputy United States Trade Representative under President Ronald Reagan. The Trump transition team characterized the agreements he had a hand in as "uniformly tough" and leading to reductions in unfair imports.
He was also chief of staff of the Senate Finance Committee that passed the Reagan tax cuts.
“Lighthizer is very knowledgeable about both technical trade policy and the ways of Washington, but what sets him aside among high-level Republican trade experts is that for decades his views have been shaped by the pragmatic outcomes of trade agreements and policies rather than fealty to any particular ideology or theory,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, in a statement. Public Citizen is no fan of TPP. “I don’t know that he would agree with progressive critics of our status quo trade policies about alternative approaches, but he also has had quite a different perspective on trade policy than the Republican congressional leaders and most of Trump’s other cabinet nominees who have supported the TPP and every past trade deal.”
“President-elect Donald Trump’s selection of Bob Lighthizeras the next U.S. Trade Representative shows he’s serious about making the United States more competitive in the global marketplace," said National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President Jay Timmons. "Bob is a solid pick for USTR, with a wealth of experience both on Capitol Hill and as a deputy USTR under President Ronald Reagan...We very much look forward to continuing to work with Bob and the Office of the USTR to advance trade policies that will keep the United States competitive for manufacturers and open new markets for the products we make."