Meanwhile, National Foreign Trade Council President Rufus Yerxa is urging the Senate Finance Committee to accelerate action on Robert Lighthizer’s nomination to be U.S. trade representative. The committee has not scheduled Lighthizer for a hearing, despite his selection by Trump being announced shortly after New Year’s Day.Part of the problem is Congress needs to approve a waiver for Lighthizer to serve as USTR because of his past work on the part of foreign governments. Democrats are using the situation to force action on legislation related to miners’ benefits, which Rachel Greszler, a senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, has described as “an unprecedented federal bailout” of private pensions on behalf of the United Mine Workers of America.Yerxa did not address that issue in separate letters to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch and ranking member Ron Wyden. Instead, he made the case for quick action. “Without a strong leader at USTR — one who is able to attract a good team of deputies and gain the respect of Cabinet peers, congressional leaders and foreign governments — American leadership in world trade and the institutions related thereto will begin to erode,” wrote Yerxa, a former WTO deputy director.