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Trump's trade negotiator plays hardball with China

Nov 05, 2018 - The Seattle Times

WASHINGTON - In trade talks with Japan in the 1980s, Robert Lighthizer, then a top negotiator under President Ronald Reagan, earned the nickname "missile man" after he took one of Japan's written offers, folded it into a paper airplane and flung it at the opposing side.

More than 30 years later, Lighthizer is leading the charge for President Donald Trump in a much bigger and more consequential trade fight with China, which overtook Japan as the world's second-largest economy in 2010.

The United States and China have exchanged several volleys of tariffs this year and are at an impasse. Where the two sides go next, and how much more pain the administration is willing to exact and absorb, will depend in good part on Lighthizer's judgment...