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December 14, 2020

President-Elect Joe Biden Nominates Katherine Tai To Be USTR

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Katherine Tai as the U.S. Trade Representative, the individual responsible for overseeing U.S. trade policy and negotiating new trade agreements.

Tai currently is the chief trade counsel for the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. Tai was named to that position in 2017 after serving three years on the committee as Trade Counsel. She came to the Ways and Means Committee in 2014 from USTR’s Office of the General Counsel, where she first served as associate general counsel from 2007 to 2011 and then as chief counsel for China trade enforcement with responsibility for the development and litigation of U.S. disputes against China at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Before joining USTR, Tai worked in the international trade departments in several Washington, DC law firms. She was born in Connecticut, raised in Washington, D.C., and is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.

The Wall Street Journal said Biden’s choice reflects his “intention to start working swiftly on pending trade issues while working with allies to confront growing economic competition from China.” The Journal also noted Tai’s immediate tasks will include the implementation of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, deciding what to do with tariffs implemented during the Trump administration, and crafting the administration’s policy toward China, including whether to start lifting tariffs on $370 billion in Chinese imports that have been imposed by the Trump administration.