The United States Congress has legislative and oversight powers over trade matters; works with the executive branch, which negotiates and enforces trade agreements.
The main executive body charged with formulating trade policy remains the USTR, which is part of the Executive Office of the President.
Prior to joining the Ways and Means Committee staff in 2014, Katherine Tai was Senior Advisor for China Enforcement and, prior to that, Associate General Counsel at USTR.
One of the crucial issues that Katherine Tai will have to get involved in is the trade war between the United States and China, in which there are currently in effect tariffs on imports from China for about 370,000 million dollars imposed by the administration of President Donald Trump.
Pursuant to paragraph a) of section 301 of the Foreign Trade Act of 1974, the USTR is obliged to act if, at the end of an investigation, it concludes that a foreign government is infringing or denying the rights and advantages that correspond to the States. United States by virtue of a trade agreement, or that its laws, policies or practices are not justified and constitute a burden or restriction on United States trade.
Under Section 301, with five different actions, between June 2018 and September 2019, the United States has imposed tariff rates of between 10 and 25% on imports from China with an approximate value of 570,000 million dollars, although with certain exceptions for strategic or national security reasons requested by companies and also reduced in number of products and level of fees by a partial bilateral agreement.
Katherine Tai must also be involved in the correct application of the Agreement between Mexico, the United States and Canada (USMCA), a priority of the Democratic legislators in the negotiations of this trade agreement that replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA ).
Katherine Tai is fluent in Mandarin and was one of the USTR’s top attorneys on China affairs from 2007 to 2014.