The U.S. Senate voted Wednesday to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee, Katherine Tai, to serve as his administration’s top trade official.
In a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 98-0, Tai was confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative, making her the 19th member of Biden’s cabinet to receive confirmation and the first Asian American to hold the position since its creation almost 60 years ago.
“I know firsthand how critically important it is that we have a strategic and coherent plan for holding China accountable to its promises and effectively competing with its model of state-directed economics,″ Tai told senators in February.
BREAKING: The Senate has unanimously confirmed Katherine Tai as United States Trade Representative! 🎉
— United States Trade Representative (@USTradeRep) March 17, 2021
Tai, whose parents immigrated to America from Taiwan, also served as the chief trade counsel for the House of Representatives during negotiations on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement in 2019.
Tai also stated in February that she believes in the use of tariffs, saying they “are a very important part of our fair trade remedies toolbox.”
“With respect to the 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum … we have to acknowledge that we have overall a very significant global marketplace problem in the steel and aluminum markets that are driven primarily by China’s overcapacity that it’s built and production of these materials,” Tai said at the time.
“But it’s not just a China problem, and what we are going to need in a worker-centered trade policy is an effective solution that looks at a whole slew of policy tools to address that part of the problem,” she added.