There’s some concern brewing around the fact newly elected President Trump seems to be assembling a hard-lining team that could soon rock the boat with China and Mexico. The latest move inside Washington was Trump naming Robert Lighthizer, an official in the Reagan administration and harsh critic of China’s trade practices, to be his chief trade negotiator, responsible for better deals aimed at reducing U.S. trade deficits. For years Lighthizer has argued that China has failed to live up to commitments made in 2001 when it joined the World Trade Organization and that tougher tactics are needed to change the system, even if it means deviating from World Trade Organization rules. Keep in mind Lighthizer is one of the main players credited with stemming the tide of imports from Japan in the 1980s with threats of quotas and punitive tariffs. “Bob Lighthizer is very smart, very strategic and totally fearless,” said a Washington attorney who has worked with him for three decades but asked not to be named. “You can expect him to use every tool available to create leverage to get China and anyone else to stop the cheating. He is no fan of the WTO.” There’s early talk that Ligthizer will be instrumental in immediately renegotiating the NAFTA deal, meaning Mexico could also be in the hot-seat. Bottom-line, Trump is definitely going to try and negotiate better deals for the U.S. and the team he is assembling seem to be extremely serious about the task at hand. We have no way of knowing how foreign leaders will respond, but I have to imagine the initial knee-jerk could be to kick, scream and try to buck the proposals. Unfortunately the U.S. may have to take a couple steps backwards in the process before ultimately moving forward. This potential backpedaling has given the bears a slight nearby edge when talking U.S. agriculture. I think longer-term it’s bullish and will be healthy for the U.S. farmer, it’s just the initial taste might make it tough to swallow. We need to continue closely monitoring negations and relations with our biggest ag buyers i.e. China, Mexico, Japan, etc.. All the people Trump is assembling are clearly agents of “change” and seem to be people who get things done, so I fell┬álike we have to expect some shakeups. (Read more at Reuters)