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Katherine Tai testifying at her confirmation hearing, Feb. 25. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Senate hearing for Katherine Tai, President Biden's nominee for U.S. trade representative, was held last week. Tai appears popular with both Democrats and Republicans and is expected to be confirmed.

Why it matters: U.S.-China trade tensions have taken a back seat amid the pandemic, but billions of dollars in tariffs remain in place and China has not met its commitments under the phase one trade deal.

  • “If confirmed, I will work with Congress to ensure that those tariffs are appropriately responsive to China’s practices; account for their impact on U.S. businesses, workers and consumers; and support the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Tai wrote in response to congressional questions after the hearing.
  • On the phase one trade agreement, Tai said she "will not hesitate to make use of the agreement’s mechanisms when China falls short of its commitments."

What they're saying: Tai's principal challenge if she is confirmed as the trade representative will be China, Craig Singleton, an adjunct fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told Axios.

  • “There is broad international consensus about the need for a WTO reset, almost all of which centers on Beijing's predatory economic behavior and non-market practices," said Singleton.
  • "The good news is that Tai will find herself in very good company with the European Union and other nations as she seeks to navigate these thorny issues.”

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

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