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Joe Biden has chosen trade attorney Katherine Tai as his new foreign trade representative, a position with ministerial rank, U.S. media reported Wednesday.
Tai already worked for the Office of the Foreign Trade Representative during the presidency of Democrat Barack Obama (2009-2017) as the lead attorney in charge of China affairs.
Since Donald Trump‘s arrival at the White House four years ago, Tai was the Democrats’ chief trade adviser on the House Ways and Means Committee.
Tai is the second Asian woman appointed by Biden to her Cabinet with ministerial rank after Neera Tanden as director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Tai would inherit a portfolio that, during the Trump administration, has become more prominent due to the outgoing president’s trade disputes with countries such as China, Mexico and Canada.
In fact, Biden’s candidate impressed many Democrats by negotiating with Trump officials stricter labor provisions in the Canada-United States-Mexico free trade agreement (T-MEC or UMSCA), according to The Washington Post.
Joe Biden has already announced that he plans to maintain Trump’s trade tariffs on China for the time being.
With the election of Tai, Biden continues to draw his future Cabinet, which already includes Antony Blinken as Secretary of State, Janet Yellen as Secretary of the Treasury and Alejandro Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security.
Biden has also nominated Xavier Becerra as Secretary of Health and Human Services, Lloyd Austin as head of the Pentagon, Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as Ambassador to the United Nations.
In addition, U.S. media have confirmed the selection of Tom Vilsack as future Secretary of Agriculture and Marcia Fudge as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Of the remaining departments to be selected, Justice is the highest level, a position Biden’s office has said it plans to announce before Christmas.
Also to be named are Commerce, Interior, Education, Labor, Transportation and Energy.
Axios reported Tuesday that Biden is considering naming his former Democratic primary rival Pete Buttigieg as the new ambassador to China.