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President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. is expected to select Katherine Tai, the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, as the United States trade representative, a key post that will bear responsibility for enforcing America’s trade rules and negotiating new trading terms with China and other countries, according to people familiar with the plans.
Ms. Tai has garnered strong support from colleagues in Congress, who credit her with helping to wrangle an unruly collection of politicians and interest groups in negotiations to pass the revised North American Free Trade Agreement. From 2007 to 2014, Ms. Tai worked for the Office of the United States Trade Representative, where she successfully prosecuted several cases on Chinese trade practices at the World Trade Organization.
If confirmed, Ms. Tai, who is Asian-American, would be the first woman of color to serve as the U.S. trade representative, a cabinet-level official who carries the rank of ambassador.
Ms. Tai’s selection was earlier reported by Politico and The Wall Street Journal.
Biden taps Katherine Tai as trade representative
Although Mr. Biden has said he does not intend to begin negotiating new free-trade agreements until he has made “major investments here at home and in our workers,” his trade representative will still have plenty to do. Those tasks are likely to include ensuring that American trade rules are adequately enforced and that they promote rather than impede other parts of Mr. Biden’s agenda, including fighting climate change and encouraging domestic investment, for example through augmenting Buy American programs.
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