Donald Trump’s top pick as his US trade representative – a veteran supporter of “get tough on China” trade talks – will cast a further shadow over bilateral trade and investment ties, according to senior Chinese government advisers. Robert Lighthizer, a trade lawyer who served as deputy US trade representative under president Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, is tipped to head Trump’s top trade-negotiating agency. Analysts said Lighthizer’s expected nomination was just another example of Trump packing his economic team with conservative veterans of US steel interests and vocal critics of China’s trade barriers such as export subsidies and market access restrictions. “I am not optimistic about bilateral trade relations under Trump as we look set to see more disagreements and frictions,” Wei Jianguo, deputy director of the China Centre for International Economic Exchanges, told the South China Morning Post.
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