The 82-14 vote follows months of delays on Lighthizer's nomination and maneuvering to pass a waiver allowing him to serve as the USTR.
Those Democrats were joined by 45 Republicans who voted for Mr Robert Lighthizer in a rare bipartisan moment a day after Democrats demanded an independent criminal investigation of Mr Trump's 2016 campaign after he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.
Mexico runs a sizeable trade deficit with China, and the government could face resistance from Mexican manufacturers to opening up to China, as the two often compete directly. He's likely to go back to the negotiating table with Canada and Mexico over NAFTA to bring a new deal back to Congress. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), who spent the previous eight years in Congress fighting a Democratic White House on trade.
"Between ambassador Lighthizer and United States department of commerce secretary Wilbur Ross, President Trump has assembled a first-rate team to handle trade and manufacturing matters", Tantillo continued. If confirmed, Lighthizer will serve as Trump's top trade official after years of work pursuing tariffs on behalf.
A 1995 amendment to the 1974 Trade Act stipulates a nominee who "directly represented, aided, or advised a foreign entity" can not serve as the U.S. Trade Representative, unless granted a waiver from Congress.
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Senate Votes to Confirm Lighthizer as Trade RepresentativeUSAgNet - 05/12/2017Senators voted Thursday to confirm Robert Lighthizer as the next USA trade representative, but the 82-14 tally exposed some discontent within President Trump's own party about the direction the administration is going on trade.
By the spring of past year, Republican incumbents running for re-election, who had supported the 2015 fast-track vote on trade, were renouncing TPP as a bad deal. He is credited with having Japan introduce a self-imposed ceiling on its steel exports to the United States. Mexico and Canada could opt to make it the framework for their trade relationship, Guajardo said.
The dairy industry is eager to work with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to protect and expand market access for U.S. dairy while addressing problematic Canadian dairy policies, the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) said following Lighthizer's Senate confirmation.
Only 11 Democrats voted against Mr Lighthizer, nearly all of whom are considered future presidential candidates or among the most liberal.
Republicans who still support the multilateral deals of the past are hopeful that Lighthizer's background in the Reagan administration means he will be more thoughtful than some of Trump's Twitter diplomacy on trade.