Lighthizer Backs Reversing `Dangerous' American Trade Trajectory


The Trudeau government says it expects the Trump administration to quickly trigger the process that will lead to renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, now that a new US trade representative has been confirmed.

Vice President Mike Pence is calling Lighthizer "uniquely qualified" for the job and says he'll help ensure the nation's trade deals benefit the American people.

"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.

"We're moving forward to complete initial consultations with Congress as soon as possible to start the clock for negotiating a fair trade deal for American workers", Davis said.

Press reports also speculate the official notification letter could be finalised and sent to Congress this week or next.

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Before Nafta talks can officially take off, Lighthizer is due to meet members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday, followed by officials with the Senate Advisory Group on Negotiations, House Ways and Means Committee and the House Advisory Group on Negotiations on Wednesday, according to Congressional aides.

Lighthizer is a well-known sceptic of NAFTA. Mr. Trump's rhetoric on trade is often more aligned with the stances of Democratic lawmakers, many of whom are skeptical of US trade agreements, but presidents have relied mostly on Republican votes to pass trade deals in Congress.

They also said "the Administration's ongoing, incoherent, and inconsistent trade message has compounded our concern".

"Given these circumstances, granting the Trump Administration additional legal powers through your confirmation without understanding how you or the Administration intend to use those powers would be irresponsible".