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    Robert Lighthizer’s appointment to lead trade talks with China was inevitable, says US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

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    Robert Lighthizer’s appointment to lead trade talks with China was inevitable, says US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross

    Trump's decision to appoint US trade representative Robert Lighthizer as the lead negotiator in the follow-up talks with China over the issue of trade was inevitable, said US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross.
    “I do not think it’s a question of hawk or dove. There have been a lot of proprietaries in our relationship with China, in fact, the sad thing about China’s admission to the WTO was that former president Bill Clinton did it on the theory that they would play by the rules but had no real enforcement mechanism in case they didn’t,” said Ross.
    The appointment of Lighthizer has taken Chinese officials by surprise.
    Lighthizer is considered to be significantly more hawkish toward China than treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, the previous lead negotiator.
    “That’s fundamentally the problem we are trying to solve to deal both with the current trade deficit and the theft of intellectual property and we shall see how serious the Chinese actually are,” he added.
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