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March 1, 2021

Katherine Tai: Meet the New U.S. Trade Representative

U.S. Trade Trade Representative Katherine Tai

Leading U.S. agricultural groups, such as the American Farm Bureau Federation and the American Soybean Association, have expressed their support of newly elected Katherine Tai, who will serve as the next trade representative with a unanimous 98-0 Senate vote. She brings exceptional experience into the role, serving as chief trade counsel at the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee since 2017. She was the chief trade lawyer who was involved in the outline of labor provisions in the USMCA and who has already expressed support in enforcing the existing tract pact with Canada and Mexico. Tai worked in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative prior to that and was chief counsel for China Trade Enforcement for three years. During that time she became experienced in representing the U.S. by managing World Trade Organization disputes with China.

Born in Connecticut, Tai was raised in Washington the majority of her life. Her parents emigrated from Taiwan and both work in the medical field  as researchers for the Walter Reed Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health. Tai attended Harvard Law School where she entered her career as a trade attorney and worked in some of the most prominent Washington law firms before entering the political sector.  

Those who have worked with her in the past—such as the U.S. International Trade Commission Chairman Jason Kearns—have described Tai as a thoughtful listener with a strategic thinking and an assertive approach. In her role as U.S. Trade Representative, Tai has pledged to hold China accountable for their promises in trade and keep a close eye on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement to ensure all terms are being met.  

The Biden Transition said in a press release that Tai was “a dedicated, deeply respected public servant and veteran international trade expert who has spent her career working to level the playing field for American workers and families.” 

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