Biden to nominate Senate staffer White, former close aide Bianchi as deputy USTRs

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senate panel holds hearing on Biden's trade nominee
FILE PHOTO: Katherine Tai, nominee for US Trade Representative speaks at the Senate Finance Committee hearing at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, U.S. February 25, 2021. Tasos Katopodis/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

April 16, 2021

By Andrea Shalal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden plans to nominate long-time Senate staffer Jayme White and former White House official Sarah Bianchi to serve as deputies to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai, the White House said on Friday.

White, currently the chief trade adviser for the Senate Finance Committee, has worked in the Senate on nearly every major trade issue and trade legislation for 20 years, the White House said in a statement.

“Jayme White has spent two decades working to ensure American trade policy empowers American workers and promotes a sustainable environment,” the statement said.

White grew up in Seattle, Washington, and his family members were union workers for Boeing, the largest U.S. exporter.

Bianchi, currently a senior managing director at the Evercore ISI investment banking advisory firm, held various positions during the administrations of former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. Her roles included serving as then-Vice President Biden’s head of economic and domestic policy, where she coordinated policy initiatives on workforce competitiveness, manufacturing and budget negotiations.

Bianchi, who previously worked at asset manager BlackRock Inc, and served as head of global policy development at Airbnb, also served as a senior advisor to the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.

Biden and his chief trade negotiator Katherine Tai have underscored their strong support for organized labor and have vowed to pursue a trade policy that focuses on workers rights, protection of the environment and human rights.

White worked closely with Tai to strengthen the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) trade agreement that took effect in July and add enforceable measures on labor and the environment.

Tai on Thursday vowed to rigorously enforce USMCA, saying it contained the most comprehensive environmental standards of any U.S. or global trade accord, although she acknowledged that its failure to explicitly acknowledge climate change was a “glaring omission”.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden strongly backed his long-time aide White to serve as Tai’s deputy.

White served as a legislative adviser to former Representative Jim McDermotte from 2000 to 2009 before joining Wyden’s office as legislative director, and moved into his current role as chief trade adviser in 2014.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; additional reporting by David Lawder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)