US president-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate second-generation Taiwanese-American Katherine Tai (戴琪) as US trade representative, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.
She would be the first woman of color and the first Asian American to hold the US’ top trade role.
The 45-year-old is chief trade counsel to the US House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee.
Photo: Screen grab from the Web site of the US-China Business Council
She is to bring to the office extensive experience with Beijing, after overseeing the China enforcement office from 2011 to 2014 in the administration of then-US president Barack Obama.
She represented the US in trade disputes with China at the WTO.
In Taipei, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Tai has collaborated with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US in her congressional role.
She has also shared her experience visiting relatives in Taiwan with office staff, the ministry said.
Tai has excellent professional skills, and has earned extensive international praise for her legal and diplomatic work, Department of North American Affairs Director-General Douglas Hsu (徐佑典) told a news briefing.
Her judgements on trade issues would likely follow the traditional stance of the US Democratic Party, Hsu said.
Taiwan would continue to communicate with its friends on both sides of the US political aisle, he said.
There has been tangible advancement in Taiwan-US relations over the past year, Hsu said, citing increasingly normalized arms sales and visits by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach in August and September respectively.
Taipei and Washington have also signed an array of memorandums for cooperation on healthcare, education, economics, technology and infrastructure, while also establishing new avenues for dialogue and mutual cooperation, he said.
“There will be new developments over the next two weeks,” he said, adding that an announcement would be made once arrangements are finalized.
In addition, a dedicated secretariat has been established within the department to handle the Global Cooperation and Training Framework, he added.
The platform for discussions over global issues was launched by Taiwan and the US in 2015, while Japan joined last year.
A Web site for the framework is nearly complete and would go online by the middle of this month at the earliest, Hsu said.
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