April 17, 2021

Biden’s Pick for Trade Representative Promises Break With Past Policy

Ms. Tai most recently worked as the chief trade counsel of the House Ways and Means Committee, where she helped to hammer out reforms that ultimately brought Democrats on board with U.S.M.C.A., which was negotiated by Mr. Trump. Before that, she served in the trade representative’s general counsel office, where she brought several successful cases against China’s trade practices at the World Trade Organization.

If confirmed, Ms. Tai would be the first woman of color and first Asian-American to serve in the position.

Ms. Tai also said that she wanted take a role in a new Biden administration effort to strengthen critical supply chains, saying that past trade policy had focused on efficiency rather than resilience, and needed to be rethought. She said that she shared the Trump administration’s goal of bringing supply chains back to America, but that the prior administration’s policies had created “a lot of disruption and consternation,” adding, “I’d want to accomplish similar goals in a more effective, process-driven manner.”

She pledged to re-engage the United States at the World Trade Organization, which the Trump administration largely bypassed or ignored, but acknowledged that the global trade group faced big challenges to its effectiveness.

The United States can’t afford not to be a leader in the organization, she said, but “the W.T.O. does need reform.”

Ms. Tai also expressed interest in resolving a long-running trade dispute between the European Union and the United States at the World Trade Organization over subsidies given to the plane makers Boeing and Airbus, which has resulted in a volley of tariffs.

“If confirmed, I would very much be interested in figuring out — pardon the pun — how to land this particular plane,” Ms. Tai said.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/25/business/economy/us-trade-biden-katherine-tai.html

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