Robert E. Lighthizer
Robert E. Lighthizer is the leader of the firm’s International Trade Department. He divides his time between traditional trade litigation, policy advice and legislative initiatives. His clients include large U.S. corporations and coalitions. He represents heavy manufacturing, agricultural and high-tech companies, as well as financial services institutions. He has been lead counsel in scores of antidumping and countervailing duty cases during the past two decades and is active in numerous pending cases and administrative reviews. He also has focused on market-opening trade actions on behalf of U.S. companies seeking access to foreign markets. He is equally at ease devising strategies for and dealing with executive departments and congressional committees.
Mr. Lighthizer was a deputy United States trade representative (USTR) with the rank of ambassador during the Reagan administration. The USTR is the cabinet level agency that develops and coordinates trade policy on behalf of the United States government and negotiates on trade matters for the president. Mr. Lighthizer had responsibility within the USTR for industry, agriculture, investment and trade policy matters.
During his tenure, Mr. Lighthizer was involved in all the important trade issues. He regularly attended and chaired subcabinet policy meetings and often attended cabinet meetings when the USTR was unavailable. In addition, Mr. Lighthizer negotiated some two dozen bilateral international agreements on subjects ranging from steel to grain. He frequently participated in General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (now the World Trade Organization) and Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development meetings.
He also served as vice chairman of the board of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC is the U.S. government agency whose purpose is to promote economic growth in developing countries through U.S. investment.
Prior to his appointment as deputy USTR, Mr. Lighthizer was chief of staff of the United States Senate Committee on Finance. The committee has jurisdiction over international trade, taxation, Social Security and health and welfare programs. During Mr. Lighthizer’s tenure, Congress passed the basic economic legislation of the Reagan-Bush administration, as well as the legislation implementing the Tokyo Round multilateral trade negotiations.
Mr. Lighthizer remains active in national politics, and was national treasurer of the 1996 Republican Presidential Campaign. He speaks and writes often in the United States and abroad on trade and tax issues, politics and other developments in Washington. He serves on the boards of charitable and political groups.
Mr. Lighthizer repeatedly has been selected for inclusion in Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He also has been recognized in Expert Guides – Euromoney Institutional Investor, The Best of the Best USA, Legal 500, Lawdragon 500 and Who’s Who Legal. Mr. Lighthizer was named one of the 2013 “BTI Client Service All-Stars” by The BTI Consulting Group for providing outstanding client service.
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1973
B.A., Georgetown University, 1969
“Stifling the Economy, One Argument at a Time,” The New York Times, March 22, 2010
“Grand Old Protectionists,” The New York Times, March 6, 2008
“Losing the Trade War: Can We Save America’s Manufacturing Base?” The Washington Times, January 26, 2007