Trump expected to pick Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump delivered brief remarks to reporters at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, December 28, 2016. 

Jonathan Ernst/REUTERS

Robert Lighthizer is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the next U.S. trade representative, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

Trade has been a central part of Mr. Trump’s agenda since the earliest days of his campaign. Mr. Trump has been highly critical of numerous free trade agreements, including the landmark NAFTA treaty signed by President Clinton, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade deal urged on by President Obama. He has also called for more restrictions on trade with Mexico and China.

Like Mr. Trump, Lighthizer has long called for tariffs on foreign imports. In 2011, he wrote an article for The Washington Times arguing that Mr. Trump’s protectionist views had longstanding precedent within the Republican Party.

Lighthizer, long considered the favorite for the post, was previously a deputy U.S. trade representative under President Reagan, and has since worked as a trade attorney in Washington, D.C.