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Senate confirms Robert Lighthizer as U.S. trade representative

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 14, 2017, file photo, United States Trade Representative-nominee Robert Lighthizer testifies before the Senate Finance Committee during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. As President Donald Trump’s choice to be U.S. trade representative, Lighthizer would be empowered to renegotiate and enforce trade deals, many of which the president has condemned as destroyers of American jobs.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

WASHINGTON -- The Senate has voted to confirm President Donald Trump's nominee to serve as U.S. trade representative, despite clear frustration among some Republicans with the administration on trade.

The vote was 82-14 to confirm Robert Lighthizer.

He 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.

Lighthizer will take his cues from a president who's broken with most Republicans in his criticism of free trade agreements and who's spread the work on trade policy beyond the trade representative.

Some of Lighthizer's strongest support has come from Democratic lawmakers.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon says Lighthizer not only understands how the global trading system works, but also how it sometimes breaks down.

Sens. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., announced their opposition to Lighthizer a day before the vote because of his position on NAFA.