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Brady Introduces U.S. Trade Rep-Nominee Katherine Tai at Senate Hearing

February 25, 2021

WASHINGTON–Ways and Means Republican Leader Kevin Brady (R-TX-08) introduced Katherine Tai, a longtime trade counsel for the Committee on Ways and Means, as the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative before the Senate Committee on Finance. His remarks, paired with Ways and Means Chairman Richie Neal (D-MA), emphasized bipartisan support for Tai’s nomination based on her qualifications and the importance of trade to American workers, families, and businesses.

“Trade is a bipartisan priority and our policies are only successful when there is a true partnership between the executive branch and Congress,” Rep. Brady tweeted. “That’s why today, I was proud to support Katherine Tai, a member of the Ways and Means family, to be our next U.S. Trade Representative.”

Rep. Brady’s remarks as prepared are below.

For a video of the speech, click here.

“Chairman Wyden, Ranking Member Crapo, and Members of the Finance Committee – it is a great pleasure to be here to introduce Katherine Tai on her nomination as U.S. Trade Representative.

It is a particular pleasure for two reasons. The first is that I can join with my friend and colleague Chairman Neal in a bipartisan show of support for Ms. Tai’s nomination.

And the second is that Ms. Tai is a such a qualified nominee, with a well-earned reputation as a knowledgeable and skillful trade lawyer, negotiator, and consensus-builder.

Her credentials are impeccable, with extensive experience at USTR, and particularly as a distinguished alum of our Ways & Means Committee staff.

She understands how the Hill works. As Members of Congress, we are reassured that she knows article 1, section 8 of the Constitution backwards and forwards.

And she knows firsthand that trade policy is successful for American workers and for job creation only when there is a true partnership between the executive branch and Congress about the goals and execution of trade policy.

She understands that at the core of that partnership is transparency and thorough consultation with Members of Congress and their staffs.

I am confident that she will work with us to develop a bipartisan consensus on trade policy before taking action –her invaluable work on USMCA certainly showed her commitment to taking all views into account.

I would encourage her to use that spirit of consensus so that we can, together, determine appropriate partners and goals for strong, enforceable trade agreements and finish trade negotiations with the UK, Kenya, and Japan, as well as to take our trade agreement with China to the next level. And I also look forward to working with her to extend Trade Promotion Authority to recognize and formalize our partnership and goals. In this way, we can negotiate trade agreements that prioritize Americans and the needs of our workforce.

I am certain that Ms. Tai will take her enforcement mission very seriously – she knows trade agreements are worthwhile only if they are both enforceable and enforced. I take particular pride in having worked across the aisle with Chairman Neal and Ms. Tai to make sure that USMCA contains an enforcement mechanism that is greatly improved from NAFTA.

Our enforcement mechanisms built into our trade agreements give her the tools she needs to hold our trading partners to account. I know she will insist that countries abide by their obligations.

Whether it is making sure China complies with its obligations under the Phase One agreement, addressing blatant revenue grabs by various trading partners through the use of digital services taxes, or challenging Mexican and Canadian practices that violate USMCA, I am confident that she will be watching – and acting.

Ms. Tai also understands the importance of the WTO, as well as the need to reform its institutions in a constructive way.

And I hope she will work with us to take care of unfinished business by renewing GSP and MTB as soon as possible.

Senators, for all of these reasons, I am most delighted to support the nomination of Katherine Tai to be our next U.S. Trade Representative.”