President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Katherine Tai to serve as the next United States Trade Representative. Tai is a veteran international trade expert who has spent her career working to level the playing field for American workers and families. If confirmed, she would be the first Asian American and first woman of color to serve in this position.
As a Politico report noted, Biden’s pick will be responsible for repairing economic ties with allies that were hurt as result of Trump’s trade wars, while fulfilling the president-elect’s campaign pledge to stay tough on China.
Tai currently serves as the chief lawyer on trade for the House Ways and Means Committee, and previously served in the Office of the United States Trade Representative as chief counsel for china trade enforcement.
Prior to her work for the House committee, Tai 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 U.S. disputes against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Before joining USTR, Tai worked in the international trade departments in various Washington, D.C. law firms. She is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, and is fluent in Mandarin.
According to the Biden transition team, Tai’s deep experience will help the Biden-Harris administration to hit the ground running on trade, and harness the power of our trading relationships to help the U.S. dig out of the COVID-induced economic crisis and pursue the President-elect’s vision of a pro-American worker trade strategy.
“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 U.S. dig out of the COVID-induced economic crisis and pursue the President-elect’s vision of a pro-American worker trade strategy,” noted a prepared statement from the Biden transition team.
If confirmed, Tai will succeed Robert Lighthizer, whose has overseen a hard line in terms of U.S. trade policy with China.