On March 18, 2021, Katherine Tai was confirmed as the U.S. Trade Representative. Tai will be the first woman of color in this role.
Tai’s nomination hearing focused on a worker and labor-centric trade policy as well as a return to multilateralism, which we believe will include more active participation in the World Trade Organization. She stated that the office of the USTR would create trade policy while working alongside other executive branch departments, including Treasury and the Department of Commerce. This policy reflects the priorities of the Biden administration to shift away from the Trump administration’s focus on bilateral trade agreements and a different course for USTR, which is expected to engage a broader consensus in advancing trade policies.
For insight into Ambassador Tai’s labor-centered and environmental approaches to trade policy, the USMCA demonstrates her priorities. She helped draft USMCA as chief trade counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee. Additionally, Ms. Tai stated in her confirmation hearing that environmental policy should be a part of trade policy.
If you or your company have any questions regarding this matter, we encourage you to contact Husch Blackwell’s International Trade and Supply Chain team.