Biden’s nominates Katherine Tai as top US trade official, says China’s unfair practices to be key priority
Washington [US], December 12 US President-elect Joe Biden on Friday (local time) announced Chinese-American trade lawyer Katherine Tai as his nominee for the US Trade Representative and said that a key priority of his administration will be the unfair trade practices by China.
“During the Obama-Biden administration she [Tai] was a chief enforcer against unfair trade practices by China which will be a key priority in the Biden-Harris administration,” Biden said at a news conference at the Biden transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.
“She understands that we need a more strategic — to be considerably more strategic than we’ve been in how we trade, and that makes us all stronger, one that leaves nobody behind. Biden said Tai will work closely with his economic and national security and foreign policy teams.
He further said, “If confirmed, Katherine Tai, a dedicated, deeply respected public servant and veteran international trade expert who has spent her career working to level the playing field for American workers and families, would be the first Asian American and first woman of color to serve in this position.”
The President-elect said that Tai also brings a sophisticated understanding of the threats of climate change to trade, as well as addresses the climate crisis with urgency.
Tai currently serves as the chief lawyer on trade on the House Ways and Means Committee, and prior to that she served in the USTR’s Office of the General Counsel, first as Associate General Counsel from 2007 to 2011 and then as Chief Counsel for China Trade Enforcement with responsibility for the development and litigation of US disputes against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO), Biden said.
In her introduction at the press confrerence, Tai, born in Conneticut recalled an incident when a colleague from USTR went to Geneva to present a case suing China before the World Trade Organization.
“We sat down at the table: She, whose parents had emigrated from South India; and I, whose parents had come from Taiwan. And my heart swelled with pride as we raised our placard and stated that we were there to present the case on behalf of the United States of America,” Tai recalled.
“Trade is like any other tool in our domestic or foreign policy — it is not an end in itself,” she said. “It is a means to create more hope and opportunity for people,” she said.
“Her deep experience will allow the Biden-Harris administration to hit the ground running on trade, and harness the power of our trading relationships to help the US dig out of the Covid-induced economic crisis and pursue the President-elect’s vision of a pro-American worker trade strategy,” Biden said.
“She’s going to work closely with my economic and national security and foreign policy teams,” Biden said ading “Trade will be a critical pillar in our ability to build back better and carry out our foreign policy — foreign policy for the middle class.”
Tai endorsed Biden’s focus on the middle class.
“I am very proud to be an advocate for American workers, to stand up for their ingenuity and their innovation and for America’s interests across the globe,” she said. “I look forward to harnessing the power of our trade relationships, to help communities lift themselves out of the current crisis.”
Besides Katherine Tai, President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his administration: Secretary Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture; Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Denis McDonough, Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and Ambassador Susan Rice, Director of the Domestic Policy Council.