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Joe Biden in Wilmington, Delaware, on Dec. 9. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative, Axios' Hans Nicols confirms.

Why it matters: If Tai is confirmed, she will be the first woman of color to serve in the position, which carries the rank of ambassador, the New York Times notes. Democrats have supported her appointment in the hopes she will help ensure the terms of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement are enforced.

The state of play: Tai, the chief trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, oversaw trade enforcement with China during former President Obama's tenure, and may help the incoming Biden administration confront Beijing on issues like forced labor and intellectual property rights, Politico reports.

  • The role is responsible for implementing U.S. trade rules and negotiating new terms with China and other countries.

Go deeper

China sanctions top Trump alumni one day after Uyghur genocide determination

Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

China's Foreign Ministry announced Wednesday it would sanction 28 "anti-China" U.S. politicians, including a slew of top officials from the outgoing Trump administration such as former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former national security adviser John Bolton and former chief strategist Steve Bannon.

Between the lines, via Axios China expert Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Chinese government officials have traditionally decried the use of unilateral sanctions by Western countries, even though China regularly blocks foreign companies and individuals from its markets for perceived political slights.

Jan 19, 2021 - World

U.S. declares China's actions against Uighurs "genocide"

A protester in London. Photo Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty

With just one day left in President Trump's term, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has officially determined that China's campaign of mass internment, forced labor and forced sterilization of over 1 million Muslim minorities in Xinjiang constitutes "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

Why it matters: The U.S. has become the first country to adopt these terms to describe the Chinese Communist Party's gross human rights abuses in its far northwest.

Pope Francis denounces European governments' migrant response

Pope Francis adresses refugees at the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) in Mytilene on the island of Lesbos on Sunday. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis criticized European countries' response to migrants and asylum seekers during his visit to a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos Sunday.

Why it matters: The pope said "migration is a humanitarian crisis that concerns everyone," but little had changed in the global response to displaced peoples since his first visit to Lesbos five years ago, per a transcript of his remarks. "Human lives, real people, are at stake. ... let us stop this shipwreck of civilization!"