Portman, Brown move Trump trade chief through committee

Published 12:15 pm Thursday, April 27, 2017

Vow to work with Ohio native Lighthizer to support steel in state

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, voted Tuesday to advance the nomination of Robert Lighthizer, President Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as the U.S. trade representative, out of the Senate Finance Committee.

Lighthizer will now have to be confirmed by the full Sens. Portman and Brown introduced Lighthizer at a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee earlier this year.

According to a news release from Portman’s office, if confirmed, Lighthizer will play a key role in forming U.S. trade policy and representing the U.S. in cases against foreign countries. Portman and Brown said they pledged to work with Lighthizer to help boost Ohio’s steel industry.

Email newsletter signup

“Mr. Lighthizer brings a wealth of experience to this job, which is critically important for ensuring that American workers aren’t hurt by foreign trade cheats,” Portman said in  a statement.  “We must continue our efforts to level the playing field for American workers and to ensure that we have open markets abroad to grow jobs here at home.  Mr. Lighthizer is well-equipped for the task, and I look forward to seeing him succeed as our next Trade Representative.”

“Robert Lighthizer knows Ohio’s manufacturing sector and he knows that for too long our failed trade policy has left Ohio workers and communities behind,” Brown said. “It’s time to confirm him so we can work together on a trade agenda that puts American workers first.”