Washington (US), March 4: The U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved President Joe Biden's nomination of Katherine Tai to be the U.S. trade representative (USTR), sending it to the full senate for a final confirmation vote.
"Not many hearings in the Senate feature as much bipartisan praise for nominees as" last week's hearing on Tai's nomination to be the USTR, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said Wednesday in a statement.
"On top of bipartisan credentials, she knows precisely the kind of smarter and stronger approach this country needs on trade," Wyden said.
But Mike Crapo, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said on Wednesday that he was disappointed in Tai's responses to 220 questions senators submitted last week.
"I was somewhat disappointed by the less-than fully responsive nature of many of the responses," Crapo said, adding senators expect nominees to provide actual answers to the questions, "not a non-answer."
Tai, a veteran international trade expert and former lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, told lawmakers last week that if confirmed, her first priority will be to help American communities emerge from the pandemic and economic crisis.
"USTR has an important role to play in that effort. Working with Congress, the entire Biden-Harris administration, and other countries and trusted partners, USTR will help to build out strong supply chains that will get our economy back on track," Tai said.
The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday also advanced Biden's nomination of Wally Adeyemo as deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury. If confirmed, Adeyemo would be the first Black deputy secretary of the U.S. Treasury.