U.S. President Biden nominates two individuals for important trade posts

President Biden nominates two to be Deputy U.S. Trade Representatives in important step to fill some of the important vacancies at USTR

On April 16, 2021, President Biden put forward the names of eight individuals for senior Administration positions, two of which were Sarah Bianchi and Jayme White each for one of the three openings as a Deputy U.S. Trade Representative. See White House Briefing Room, President Biden Announces His Intent to Nominate Eight Key Administration Leaders, April 16, 2021, https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/04/16/president-biden-announces-his-intent-to-nominate-eight-key-administration-leaders/.

Jayme White is the Senate Finance Committee Democratic counterpart to Ambassador Katherine Tai (formerly with the House Ways and Means Committee) with a distinguished career as a Senate staffer. Sarah Bianchi has extensive prior Administration experience in both the Obama/Biden and Clinton/Gore administrations.

The profile of each as included in the White House announcement is copied below.

Sarah Bianchi, Deputy United States Trade Representative

“Sarah Bianchi has spent nearly a decade in government roles in economic and domestic policy including in the Office of the Vice President, the White House Domestic Policy Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.   In 2011, Ms. Bianchi was appointed by then Vice President Biden as his head of economic and domestic policy in the White House, where she ran the economic and domestic policy team in the Office of the Vice President and coordinated policy initiatives ranging from workforce competitiveness to manufacturing to budget negotiations. She also served as Deputy Assistant to the President for Economic Policy.  Bianchi has also served as a senior advisor to the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware, where she worked on a variety of economic policies and served as Chair of the Institute’s Policy Advisory Board.

“Bianchi has served in a number of private sector roles as well. In 2019, she joined Evercore ISI in the macroeconomic research group where she leads the U.S. public policy research.  She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1995 and has served on the Senior Advisory Committee at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University since 2004.  Bianchi and her husband live in Arlington, Virginia with their twelve-year-old daughter and ten-year-old son.

“Jayme White, Deputy United States Trade Representative

“Jayme White has spent two decades working to ensure American trade policy empowers American workers and promotes a sustainable environment. Mr. White grew up in Seattle, WA, where his family were union workers for Boeing. He went to Washington, DC to work for his hometown member of Congress in the House of Representatives, Representative Jim McDermott, who served on the Committee on Ways and Means, which has jurisdiction over international trade. Since then, he has played a role in nearly every major trade issue and trade legislation, over the last 20 years.

“Mr. White has served in the U.S. Senate since 2009, including as the chief trade advisor for the Senate Committee on Finance since 2014, under the leadership of Chairman Ron Wyden. During this tenure, White led efforts to level the playing field for American workers, through trade negotiations and agreements, and by reforming US trade laws to better respond to unfair foreign trade practices. In his role on the Finance Committee, he has long represented and advanced bipartisan US views to foreign trade leaders, and the outcomes of those efforts are evident in many trade agreements. Key provisions — especially enforceable measures on labor and the environment — found in the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) are a result of his efforts.”

Both nominees reflect the focus that the Biden Administration has on making trade work for all, especially workers, and be a tool to build back better and help the U.S. address climate change and other environmental issues.

The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, and the USTR, Ambassador Katherine Tai, issued statements on the 16th strongly supporting the nominations of both and, in Amb. Tai’s case, looking forward to both nominees being part of the USTR team to move the Biden agenda forward. Both nominees have strong policy backgrounds and should be confirmed relatively easily. When these nominees are confirmed, the Biden Administration will be an important step closer to filling out its trade team.

There is a third Deputy USTR slot that remains open as well as the position of Chief Agriculture Negotiator. So more nominations should be forthcoming in the coming weeks or months. It is not clear whether either nominee is being considered for the Geneva slot as Permanent Representative to the World Trade Organization.

The press release from Senator Wyden and Ambassador Tai are embedded below.

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