Biden selects Katherine Tai for top trade post

Biden selects Katherine Tai for top trade post
© Getty Images

President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBaltimore police chief calls for more 'boots on the ground' to handle crime wave Biden to deliver remarks at Sen. John Warner's funeral Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump MORE is expected to name House Ways and Means Committee chief trade lawyer Katherine TaiKatherine TaiBiden moves to undo Trump trade legacy with EU deal US, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China US, EU reach deal to end 17-year aircraft trade dispute MORE to be the U.S. trade representative, a person familiar with the plans told The New York Times.

If selected, Tai would be responsible for enforcing U.S. trade policies and negotiating new trading terms with China and other major foreign trade networks.

The Ways and Means Committee and Biden's transition team did not immediately respond to requests from The Hill for comment and confirmation.

In a statement, Senate Finance Committee ranking member Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Health Care: White House acknowledges it will fall short of July 4 vaccine goal | Fauci warns of 'localized surges' in areas with low vaccination rates | Senate Finance leader releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Flaming shipwreck wreaks havoc on annual sea turtle migration Senate Finance chair releases principles for lowering prescription drug prices MORE (D-Ore.) praised Tai as a potential pick and called on Senate Republicans to process her nomination "as quickly as possible" following the inauguration on Jan. 20.


"If reports are true, President-Elect Biden has made an inspired choice for U.S. Trade Representative. Ms. Tai has the experience she needs to succeed as USTR, and her record of getting wins for American workers demonstrates she knows how to champion the values that matter to U.S. families," Wyden said in the statement.

Wyden cited Tai's close work alongside him and his staff members that helped to "raft the strongest ever protections for American workers in a trade agreement, and pass them into law with bipartisan support."

Tai would be the first Asian American and woman of color to serve as the U.S. trade representative, a Cabinet-level position that carries the rank of ambassador.

Tai received strong backing from her colleagues in Congress and a background working for the Office of the United States Trade Representative from 2007 to 2014. During that time, she prosecuted several cases on Chinese trade practices at the World Trade Organization.

Politico also reported on Biden's projected appointment of Tai, noting her supporters have pointed out how her expertise could aid the U.S. in confronting Beijing on issues such as forced labor and intellectual property rights, simultaneously maintaining a trade relationship between the two most significant global markets.

Tai worked on additional China-related issues during her time in the House, including plans to bring back American supply chains and legislation to block imports made using forced labor from Uighur Muslims and other minority groups in the country's mainland parts.

Her background in China extends as far back as the 1990s, when she was a teaching fellow speaking fluent Mandarin Chinese, the Times reported.