WASHINGTON, April 25 The Senate Finance
Committee on Tuesday approved President Donald Trump's choice
for U.S. Trade Representative, bringing Robert Lighthizer a step
closer to taking office as U.S. trade disputes with Canada and
Mexico heat up.
The panel also voted to approve a legal waiver for
Lighthizer from a 1995 law that prohibits people who did work on
behalf of foreign governments from serving as the top U.S. trade
negotiator. Lighthizer did work on behalf of the Brazilian
agriculture agency in the late 1980s and assisted a colleague
with work for a Chinese electronics industry group in 1991.
Lighthizer's nomination now moves to the full U.S. Senate
for approval. If confirmed, he will represent the Trump
administration in its planned renegotiation of the North
American Free Trade Agreement.
The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday announced 20 percent
anti-subsidy duties on Canadian softwood lumber imports amid a
long-running unresolved trade dispute between the United States
and its second-largest trade partner.
(Reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Andrea Ricci)