WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden has named another key appointment to his cabinet, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
Katherine Tai, the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, has been tapped as the United States’ trade representative — a key post responsible for negotiating trade terms with the nation’s allies and adversaries.
Tai, who is Asian American and would be the first woman of color to serve in the role, impressed members of Congress when she was able to successfully handle negotiations in Congress with the Trump administration over changes sought to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada deal (USMCA) that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Politico reported.
Fluent in Mandarin and praised as a skilled negotiator, Tai will have the unenviable task of overseeing trade at a time when relations between Beijing and Washington are the frostiest they have been in decades.
The former veep has promised to be tough on China but it’s unclear whether he will launch the same trade war waged by President Trump.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly accused Biden of being soft on China and criticized his record of supporting free trade deals like NAFTA and China’s admission to the World Trade Organization which sent thousands of US jobs overseas.
The Post last month revealed that the commander in chief was mulling a human rights and trade crackdown on the Communist nation in his final two months in office in the hopes of forcing Biden to continue his hardline approach.
“President Trump has absolutely changed the game when it comes to implementing strong actions on the Chinese Communist Party over the past four years and forging a bipartisan and international consensus on the need to counter Beijing’s harmful policies,” said John Ullyot, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
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