Robert Lighthizer, the United States trade representative, has long been one of China's toughest critics. But since brokering a trade deal with Beijing in January, he has emerged as one of China’s biggest defenders within the administration.
Fascinating look from at Lighthizer’s evolving role in China debates. But I’d frame slightly differently: debate isn’t (only) hawks vs doves on China, but whether trade relationship should be linked to broader political goals or not (1/)
Before the trade deal, Lighthizer aligned on tactics w/ the admin’s uber hawks who favor a pressure-only approach vs China. With the Phase One trade deal, he’s more aligned w/ the admin’s few remaining globalists to preserve parts of the relationship.