Politico | 21 March 2017
Trump’s pick for trade envoy open to continued EU trade talks
By HANS VON DER BURCHARD
President Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. trade representative has said he is open to resuming negotiations on a Transatlantic trade pact with the European Union.
The remarks by Robert Lighthizer came in an exchange of letters with the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Asked by the committee if he wanted to pursue the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership as well as the Trade in Services Agreement, which has been negotiated among 23 members of the World Trade Organization including the EU and U.S., Lighthizer did not rule out continuing with the talks.
During his campaign Trump vowed to protect American workers from the negative consequences of free trade and he has already pulled out of the Trans-Pacific trade deal.
“If confirmed [as Trade Representative], I will carefully review all previous negotiations, and look forward to consulting with you and other members of the committee on how best to proceed,” he wrote in written responses to questions.
“With respect to TTIP at least, it appears that upcoming elections in France, Germany, and other EU member states will, in any case, make it difficult for the EU to resume comprehensive trade negotiations until at least the end of this year,” he continued. “In the meantime, we would be open to exploring ways to address barriers to U.S. exports and to expand trade with the EU and its member states.”
Lighthizer is still awaiting approval by the senate before he can assume the trade post.