Senate confirms Trump's top NAFTA negotiator

"The outcome of the renegotiation of NAFTA will have major impacts on the Mexican economy as well as South Korea's exports", an official from the association said.

“And I said, ‘Yes, it is.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said there were no longer enough votes to pass the trade deal. Lighthizer, 69, also was USA trade representative under Ronald Reagan. A final confirmation vote could occur later Thursday, May 11, 2017.

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At one point, Trump threatened to scrap the trade agreement in North America, until he changed his mind after appeals by Canada and Mexico.

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the committee overseeing trade policy, took to the floor before the vote to express his support, saying "It is clear that Mr. Lighthizer not only understands how the global trading system works, but also how it sometimes breaks down...."

One of Lighthizer's first orders of business will be to consult Congress on the administration's plans to renegotiate Nafta, which Trump called a "disaster" during the election campaign. Rather than buy from the US, they're negotiating to import corn from Brazil - and even more significantly, they're planning to invest in their own farmers to make Mexico self-sufficient again in this important crop.

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Trucks wait in the queue for border customs control to cross into the U.S.at the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico on November 2, 2016.

"Ambassador Lighthizer has extensive trade policy and trade negotiation experience with a career that includes work on Capitol Hill, at USTR and in private practice focused on trade policy and trade enforcement issues". He passed the Senate Finance Committee on a unanimous vote. During his confirmation hearing in March, Lighthizer said he previously believed China "was a substantial currency manipulator", but whether it still is "is another question". Yet, Republican senators John McCain (AZ) and Ben Sasse (NE) could not not support him because of his supposed protectionist views.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), a proud free-trader whose heavily agricultural state benefits from exports, said he had a "candid conversation" with the nominee about farm exports and came away cautiously optimistic.

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"We all know that China is not a free trader, that's the reality", he said. "And we're having some degree of - well, let's just say that - we're having meaningful dialogue, okay?" With a growing global marketplace, Craig Uden, NCBA president, said expanding worldwide markets is a top priority for cattlemen.

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