WTO Ministerial in Argentina

Commissioned staff members take official portraits at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House, Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Washington, D.C (Official White House Photo by Stephanie Chasez)

Argentina will be the first South American country to host the WTO Ministerial Conference where ministers and representatives from 164 countries, including the United States will meet to discuss trade issues.  USTR Robert Lighthizer will lead the U.S. delegation visiting Buenos Aires on December 10-14.

The United States is the largest source of foreign investment in Argentina and both countries are WTO founding members since 1994.  The WTO is the only international organization leading with the global rules of trade between nations.  At its heart are the WTO agreements, negotiated and signed by the bulk of the world’s trading nations and ratified in their parliaments.

Robert E. Lighthizer
United States Trade Representative

Robert E. Lighthizer was sworn in as the 18th United States Trade Representative (USTR) on May 15, 2017.

An experienced trade negotiator and litigator, Ambassador Lighthizer brings a history of tough U.S. trade enforcement and a record of standing up for American workers, farmers, manufacturers, and businesses.

At the time he was chosen by President Trump to serve as USTR, Ambassador Lighthizer was a partner at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Skadden), where he practiced international trade law for over 30 years. His work there on behalf of American workers and businesses in the heavy manufacturing, agricultural, high-tech, and financial services industries opened markets to U.S. exports and defended U.S. industries from unfair trade practices. He was lead counsel for scores of trade enforcement cases and was a well-known advocate for the type of “America First” trade policies supported by President Trump.

Before joining Skadden, Ambassador Lighthizer served as Deputy USTR for President Ronald Reagan. During his tenure, Ambassador Lighthizer negotiated over two dozen bilateral international agreements, including agreements on steel, automobiles, and agricultural products.  As Deputy USTR, he also served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Prior to becoming Deputy USTR, Ambassador Lighthizer was Chief of Staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance for Chairman Bob Dole. In this position, he was a key player in enacting the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, which was the most significant tax reform in decades, as well as the other basic elements of the Reagan economic program.

Ambassador Lighthizer earned a Bachelor’s degree at Georgetown University and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. He is a native of Ashtabula, Ohio and has two children.