Ex-Trump Trade Chief Lighthizer to Lead Trade Policy Group Then-U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer speaks next to then-President Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 1, 2018. (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
By Eric Mack | Friday, 24 September 2021 11:23 AM
American First Policy Institute has added former President Donald Trump's U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to its team as chairman of the Center for American Trade.
Amb. Lighthizer's group will be a think tank for trade policies that put America First as President Joe Biden is working to pass massive spending legislation to restructure the American economy.
"AFPI is honored to have Amb. Lighthizer join our all-star team," AFPI President and CEO Brooke Rollins wrote in a statement Friday. "For years, the D.C. and global corporate elites, in the name of free trade orthodoxy, allowed markets and market efficiencies to be an overwhelming influence on policy decisions.
"But Amb. Lighthizer, alongside President Trump, changed that trajectory and re-engineered our nation's trade policy to finally put America first. Politicians before President Trump promised to put America first in trade negotiations, but President Trump, with the help of Amb. Lighthizer, is the only one who actually delivered on this promise."
Another former Trump administration chief, Linda McMahon, is the chair of the AFPI Board of Directors. McMahon served as the 25th administrator of the Small Business Administration from 2017 to 2019 under Trump.
"Amb. Lighthizer's contributions to the American economy and most importantly, the American worker, are beyond compare," McMahon wrote in a statement. "I'm grateful for the time we were able to work together during the Trump administration to ensure that America's workers and small businesses were put ahead of global interests and foreign competitors. At AFPI, we will continue to work together to advance policies that embody both free and fair trade."
Lighthizer vows to continue the work he began in the Trump administration.
"Working alongside President Trump, we changed the paradigm on trade negotiations away from a focus on corporate profits and instead put American workers first," he wrote in a statement. "We also raised the alarm on the tremendously unfair trade practices of the People's Republic of China.
"President Trump and I also successfully renegotiated the failed NAFTA agreement and helped replace it with the first worker-forced trade agreement, which passed Congress with 90% of Republicans' and Democrats' support. At AFPI, I hope to continue to advance this new paradigm and continue the transformative policies we championed during the Trump administration."