President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Katherine Tai as his pick to serve as United States trade representative, the transition team announced on Thursday.
If confirmed by the Senate, Tai would serve as the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues — the first Asian American and woman of color to do so.
Tai, the chief lawyer on trade for the House Ways and Means Committee, is a veteran international trade expert and has previously served as chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement in the office she will soon lead. According to the Biden-Harris transition team, Tai’s expertise will help the country dig out of an economic crisis and support American workers.
The Biden-Harris transition team made the announcement days after members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus — a bipartisan group of lawmakers — voiced concerns about a lack of Asian American representation in the senior levels of Biden’s Cabinet.
Rep. Grace Meng, the first vice-chair of the caucus, said she had been pushing the incoming administration to include Asian Americans in its top-level ranks and was pleased with Biden’s decision.
“Tonight’s announcement is a good step toward ensuring our community is represented at the highest levels of government,” Meng said in a statement.
Rep. Judy Chu, the chair of the caucus who has worked closely with Tai on trade issues, said Tai’s nomination is “breaking barriers and clearing the way for others to follow.”
Biden’s transition team also announced several other key members of his administration on Thursday, including several women: Rep. Marcia Fudge as secretary of Housing and Urban Development and Ambassador Susan Rice as director of the Domestic Policy Council.
“This is the right team for this moment in history, and I know that each of these leaders will hit the ground running on day one to take on the interconnected crises families are facing today,” Biden said in a statement.
Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said the members of the Biden-Harris administration, which will “reflect the best of our nation,” will work to contain the pandemic and open the economy responsibly.