On May 11, 2017, the United States Senate confirmed Robert Lighthizer as the new United States Trade Representative by a vote of 82-14. He was sworn into office as United States Trade Representative on May 15, 2017. Ambassador Lighthizer will take a leading role in re-negotiating trade agreements — notably the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Ambassador Lighthizer's profile notes that he practiced international trade law for over 30 years. He also served as Deputy United States Trade Representative in the Reagan Administration.
Certain trade agreements, such as NAFTA, have a direct effect on the immigration laws. Furthermore, trade agreements have a general effect on the labor market, which is highly relevant in the employment immigration context. In the immigration context, Ambassador Lighthizer's course in re-negotiating NAFTA will be important to watch going forward.