Senate unanimously confirms Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative
U.S. Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative (USTR), making her the first Asian American and the first woman of color to hold the position.
The evenly-split Senate confirmed Tai's nomination by a vote of 98-0, reflecting rare bipartisan support.
Tai, 47, served as the chief lawyer on trade for the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee. She shepherded the Congressional negotiations for the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement signed last year, and also had several years of experience at the Office of the USTR.
Tai is expected to review former U.S. President Donald Trump's trade policies, including tariffs, and will likely face challenges as President Joe Biden's top trade negotiator amid trade disputes with U.S. trading partners, such as the European Union and China.
When announcing the nomination in December, Biden described Tai as "a tested trade expert," and a "dedicated public servant who knows government and who has spent her career leveling the playing field for American workers and families."
Biden's economic team also includes former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, who was sworn in as first female U.S. treasury secretary in late January.
Earlier this month, Gina Raimondo, then Rhode Island governor, was confirmed by the Senate as the new commerce secretary, and Princeton University economist Cecilia Rouse was confirmed as head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.