Senate confirms Katherine Tai to be US trade representative

The Senate confirmed Katherine Tai to serve as US trade representative on Wednesday, giving her a key role to smooth supply chains shaken by the pandemic, implement a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada and address a multitude of challenges with China.

Tai, the daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, is the first woman of color to be the top US trade negotiator. The vote was 98 to 0.
Tai served as the top Democratic trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, playing a crucial part in the negotiations on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which was struck by the Trump administration. She previously oversaw trade enforcement for China during the Obama administration.
    Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised Tai as “one of our country’s most seasoned experts in international trade” and said her nomination was a “great contrast” to the “tragedy” of Asian American discrimination during the pandemic.
      “As US Trade Representative, Ms. Tai will play a crucial role in enforcing existing trade deals and making sure that American workers, businesses and researchers can compete on a level playing field,” Schumer said.
          Of the 23 Cabinet-level positions requiring Senate consideration, 19 have now been confirmed.
          This week, the Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as the Interior secretary, the first Native American Cabinet secretary in US history, and Isabel Guzman to lead the Small Business Administration. It is also expected to advance on Wednesday Xavier Becerra’s nomination to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services.

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