The U.S. Senate has officially confirmed Katherine Tai as the next U.S. Trade Representative. It marks the first time that a woman of color will take the position as the country’s top trade delegate. There was significant support for Tai assuming the position, with a unanimous vote of 98-0 confirming the selection. As a former trade negotiator and congressional staffer, Tai has worked on trade issues with China and was involved in negotiations related to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Ag industry members appear optimistic about her confirmation.
“AFBF congratulates Katherine Tai on her confirmation to serve as the next United States Trade Representative,” American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall said in a press release. “We have a great opportunity to build on existing agreements with China and our North American neighbors, as well as create new opportunities with the European Union and the United Kingdom. Ms. Tai’s ability to build bipartisan support for policies and her experience with enforcing fair-trade rules will help America’s farmers and ranchers compete internationally and continue putting food on tables around the world.”
U.S. Wheat Associates, the National Association of Wheat Growers, and the National Cotton Council also issued statements of support for the announcement. Tai received significant support from the agricultural industry when she was first selected by President Joe Biden for the position. Groups including the California Fresh Fruit Association, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, Western Growers, and National Council of Farmer Cooperatives all signed a letter encouraging swift confirmation. Tai’s background and experience, particularly with China, has impressed many ag organizations who are hopeful her confirmation can bring about positive change.
“ARA is pleased that the Senate confirmed Katherine Tai as USTR today,” said Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) President and CEO Daren Coppock. “She has the experience and expertise to secure greater market access for U.S. products and ensure enforcement of clear and fair rules with our trade partners.”