Background

A number of senior staff appointments announces this week by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative highlight what USTR nominee Katherine Tai has described as the Biden administration’s vision for a “worker-centered trade policy.”

An article in The New York Times states that whereas “past Democratic administrations … focused more on promoting American exports and geopolitical influence through striking trade deals,” the new appointments signal that USTR now “may focus more on ensuring that American trade rules are adequately enforced and that they promote rather than impede” other parts of the president’s agenda.

In addition, many of the newly named individuals were drawn from congressional staff roles and thus have experience working with Tai, which could help USTR move forward on trade issues more quickly.

The new appointments are as follows.

- Sirat K. Attapit, most recently director of legislative affairs for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a former staffer in both the House and Senate, as assistant USTR for intergovernmental affairs

- Jan Beukelman, most recently legislative director for Sen. Tom Carper, as assistant USTR for congressional affairs

- Ethan Holmes, most recently economic policy advisor for Rep. Ron Kind, as special assistant to the USTR

- Ginna Lance, most recently associate operations manager for the Overdeck Family Foundation, as deputy chief of staff

- Samuel Negatu, most recently legislative director for Rep. Jimmy Gomez, as director of congressional affairs

- Greta Peisch, most recently senior international trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, as USTR general counsel

- Brad Setser, most recently senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, as counselor to the USTR

- Shantanu Tata, most recently senior policy advisor to Rep. Suzan DelBene and her primary advisor for trade issues on the House Ways and Means Committee, as executive secretary

- Jamila Thompson, most recently chief of staff for Rep. John Lewis, as senior advisor

- Nora Todd, most recently chief economic advisor for Sen. Sherrod Brown, as chief of staff

- Mark Wu, most recently vice dean for the graduate program and international legal studies at Harvard Law School, as senior advisor

For more information on advocating for your company’s interests before USTR and other federal agencies, please contact Nicole Bivens Collinson.

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