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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.

Attempting to reform gig work via co-ops

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ride-hailing service The Drivers Cooperative recently debuted in New York City, claiming that its lack of VC funding would result in better driver pay and lower passenger costs.

Why it matters: TDC’s approach is a direct rebuke to the venture capital-fueled gig economy model.

52 mins ago - World

Conservative cleric Raisi elected Iran's president

Raisi gives a press conference after voting. Photo: Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.

Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.

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