New USTR Appointment Passes Senate

One of many, many outstanding questions on the new Canada-US softwood lumber dispute was answered Friday morning when the US Senate approved US President Donald Trump’s appointment of US Trade Representative.

The upper chamber voted with a large bipartisan majority Thursday to approve Robert Lighthizer, which gives the administration its U.S. trade representative and allows it to kick-start its NAFTA process, according to CBC Friday.

Lighthizer was deputy U.S. trade representative under president Ronald Reagan and has worked on trade issues as a lawyer representing various manufacturers and high-tech companies.

“We are going to be good, collaborative constructive partners who effectively stand up for the national interest — I hope that we’ll be able to conclude negotiations quickly,” Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said Thursday night in a conference call from Alaska.