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U.S. Trade Representative – confirmation needed

Katherine Tai

by Deedra Abboud in Political
January 5, 2021 0 comments

President-elect Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Katherine Tai as United States Trade Representative.

Tai, who is Asian-American, would also be the first woman of color to serve as the USTR.

The position: Advises on trade policy and negotiates trade deals.

Katherine Chi Tai was born in Connecticut and grew up in Washington, D.C., where she attended Sidwell Friends School.

Her parents immigrated to the United States from Taiwan. Tai graduated from Yale University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and earned a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School.

She taught English at Sun Yat-sen University as a Yale-China Fellow for two years. Tai is also fluent in Mandarin.

From 2007 to 2014, Tai served in the Trade Representative’s Office of General Counsel, becoming chief counsel for China trade enforcement from 2011 until her departure. At the Office of General Counsel, she worked on trade cases at the World Trade Organization.

In 2014, she became trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee. She was named chief trade counsel in 2017.

During Tai’s tenure with the Committee on Ways and Means, she played a significant role in the House’s negotiations with the Trump administration regarding the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), advocating for stronger labor provisions.

The Associated Press has described her as a “problem-solving pragmatist on trade policy.”

She has said that China should be addressed forcefully and strategically.

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