Trade attorney Stephen Vaughn will be named the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s general counsel if USTR nominee Robert Lighthizer is confirmed, and Gilbert Kaplan will be tapped for Commerce under secretary for international trade provided Commerce secretary nominee Wilbur Ross is approved by the Senate, according to multiple sources.
[Daily News| February 23, 2016 |Inside US Trade]
Both Vaughn and Kaplan have specialized in representing the U.S. steel industry, and sources noted that their philosophies on trade and their background working with the steel sector are on par with Lighthizer’s.
The Senate Finance Committee has yet to hold a confirmation hearing for Lighthizer, who cannot be confirmed without a waiver to the 1974 Trade Act because of his work with foreign governments in the 1980s.
Vaughn was a member of President Trump’s USTR transition team and a partner at King & Spalding’s international trade group; he has also been a professor at Georgetown University’s law school. Before that, Vaughn worked for Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom, where Lighthizer was a partner until Jan. 31.