Though she could be making an uncommon bounce to a Cabinet-level place, Tai is well-regarded by each the average and liberal wings of the celebration and is backed by distinguished lawmakers, together with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). A gaggle of 10 feminine House Democrats led by Reps. Suzanne Bonamici (Ore.) and Judy Chu (Calif.) wrote Biden final month backing Tai as “uniquely qualified” for the job.
Tai would even be the second Asian American girl to be named to a Cabinet-level place below Biden. Her deliberate choice comes after members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and a number of other advocacy teams met with Biden’s transition workforce final week to precise their growing concern that there would be insufficient Asian American representation in top-tier spots in Biden’s administration.
Along with substantial expertise on Capitol Hill, Tai spent seven years as a U.S. trade representative (USTR) lawyer specializing in implementing trade agreements with China. Tai reportedly impressed many Democrats final December whereas negotiating with Trump officers for stronger labor provisions within the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).
“She impressed the hell out of them in the USMCA negotiations,” stated one particular person conversant in Tai’s candidacy.
Normally a low-profile outpost, the place of chief trade negotiator turned one of many Trump administration’s most consequential jobs. Ambassador Robert E. Lighthizer, an skilled trade lawyer, was the mental muscle behind President Trump’s “profgre” sentiments, driving a protectionist revolution in U.S. coverage.
With the USTR’s assist, Trump imposed tariffs on photo voltaic panels, washing machines, metal and aluminum together with a lot of what Americans import from China. Lighthizer, a fierce critic of the World Trade Organization, hammered out new agreements with South Korea, Mexico and Canada, and China. But he failed to attain Trump’s purpose of narrowing the U.S. trade deficit and left many U.S. allies irritated by his uncompromising stance.
Biden has stated he plans no early reversal of the Trump tariffs, although that might come later. He additionally plans investments in infrastructure, training and manufacturing earlier than in search of new trade offers. And he has proposed a $400 billion “Buy America” initiative, which might require renegotiating some present accords.