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Thiru Balasubramaniam thiru at keionline.org
Tue Jan 3 01:21:41 PST 2017


Post Politics

Trump to name Lighthizer as trade representative, tap Pence adviser for
West Wing

By Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker January 2 at 11:57 PM

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Robert E. Lighthizer
as the U.S. trade representative, a transition official confirmed Monday
night, recruiting to his Cabinet a veteran of the Reagan administration who
has decades of experience in trade policy and litigation.

Lighthizer, whose nomination is expected to be formally announced as early
as Tuesday, will join a team of Trump lieutenants charged with fulfilling
one the central promises of Trump's populist candidacy: aggressively
confronting China, Mexico and other nations the president-elect believes
have been taking advantage of international trade agreements, to the
detriment of U.S. workers.

In the run-up to his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump will be making a flurry of
final nominations for his Cabinet as well as filling out the senior
positions in his White House.

Trump has recruited Marc Short, who has been serving as a top adviser to
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, to the West Wing, likely as head of
legislative affairs, three people with knowledge of the position said
Monday night. Short will work with Rick Dearborn, who has been serving as
executive director of the Trump transition team and is expected to be named
White House deputy chief of staff overseeing legislative, intergovernmental
and Cabinet affairs.

Dearborn is a former chief of staff to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who is
Trump’s nominee for attorney general, and together with Short will manage
the administration's legislative agenda and the president's relationships
with lawmakers.

Short is a longtime veteran operative with deep ties on Capitol Hill and is
respected by Republican leaders in both chambers. He served as Pence's
chief of staff during his time in Congress and later worked as president of
Freedom Partners, the powerful political network of the billionaire
industrialist brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch. A longtime Pence
loyalist and confidant, Short joined Trump's 2016 campaign team as an
adviser to Pence once the Indianan received the vice-presidential nod. He
earlier advised Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on his 2016 presidential campaign.

Although some in the Pence orbit were initially skeptical of Trump and his
team, Short quickly established himself as a conduit between the Pence and
Trump worlds and earned the respect of Trump. He has been an influential
figure behind the scenes during the transition period, both in weighing
personnel decisions and charting the policy agenda.

Mike Allen, co-founder of Axios, a new media company, first reported
Short's position in a tweet.

 The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Lighthizer, long
considered a favorite to be trade representative, would become Trump's

Short and Lighthizer bring to the Trump team years of experience in
Washington. Lighthizer served as deputy U.S. trade representative under
President Ronald Reagan, and before that as chief of staff on the Senate
Finance Committee.

Lighthizer has deep roots in the Republican establishment, having served as
national treasurer for former Senate majority leader Robert J. Dole's 1996
presidential campaign. Lighthizer currently works as a partner at Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he specializes in international trade

In the Trump administration, Lighthizer will work closely on trade issues
with Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor who is the nominee for commerce
secretary, and Peter Navarro, an economist and China hawk who has been
tapped to lead a new White House National Trade Council.

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