January 03,2017

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless 202-224-4515

Hatch Statement on Announcement of Intent to Nominate Robert Lighthizer to Head Trade Post

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee which oversees trade policy, issued the following statement after President-elect Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate Robert Lighthizer to serve as the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and head its office: 

“Ensuring our past, present, and future trade agreements are the best possible deals for American workers and job creators is a shared goal supported by pro-trade lawmakers and the Trump Administration alike.  As the incoming administration undertakes this enormous responsibility, Bob will be a critical player in ensuring that America’s trade agenda reflects U.S. commercial interests, while helping set the standard for global trade.   Armed with bipartisan Trade Promotion Authority, the incoming Trump Administration has a unique opportunity to pursue new, bilateral trade pacts of the highest caliber that can be submitted to Congress for an up or down vote with no amendments.  As the world and our economic competitors move to expand their global footprints, we can’t afford to be left behind in securing strong deals that will increase access to new markets for American-made products and services, protect our intellectual property rights abroad, and ensure domestic businesses can successfully compete in the 21st century global economy. I look forward to a vigorous discussion of Bob’s trade philosophy and priorities when he comes before the Finance Committee.”

Background: The U.S. Senate, as is its role under the Constitution, carefully, thoroughly and fairly vets and scrutinizes the President’s nominees. Each nominee that moves through the Senate Finance Committee will undergo the same bipartisan vetting process as the nominees from previous administrations. Traditionally, each nominee is required to submit a questionnaire as well as full copies of their tax returns to the Committee for review. Once the internal vetting process is completed, the Finance Committee will schedule a date for a confirmation hearing. The Senate Finance Committee recognizes the need for a seamless transition between administrations and will act in a swift and thorough manner to clear the nominees in the Committee to ensure a timely consideration by the full Senate.