Friday, 16 Apr 2021

The Biden administration hopes Katherine Tai can heal divisions over trade.

The Biden administration is hoping that its nominee for U. S. trade representative, Katherine Tai, who is scheduled to appear for her confirmation hearing on Thursday morning before the Senate Finance Committee, can serve as a consensus builder and help bridge the Democratic Party’s varying views on trade, Ana Swanson reports for The New York Times.

Ms. Tai, the chief trade counsel to the House’s powerful Ways and Means Committee, has strong connections in Congress, and supporters expect her nomination to proceed smoothly. But if confirmed, she will face bigger challenges, including filling in the details of what the Biden administration has called its “worker-focused” trade approach.

As trade representative, Ms. Tai will be a key player in restoring alliances strained under former President Donald J. Trump, as well as formulating the administration’s China policy, where she is expected to draw on prior experience bringing cases against China at the World Trade Organization during her time working in the office of the United States Trade Representative, from 2007 to 2014.

She will also take charge on matters that divide the Democratic Party, like whether to keep or scrap the tariffs Mr. Trump imposed on foreign products, and whether new foreign trade deals will help the United States compete globally or end up selling American workers short.

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