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Who will be the Biden trade czar if he wins in November?

September 08, 2020

CPA's Take: The first two people mentioned as Biden trade advisors, Jennifer Hillman and Miriam Sapiro, are pro-globalists that don’t care where things are made. 

WASHINGTON/WILMINGTON, Del., Sept. 8 (Reuters) - Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is tapping some of the most experienced trade professionals in Washington to help chart a new course on trade if he is elected.

[David Lawder and Trevor Hunnicutt | September 8, 2020 | Reuters]
Speculation is swirling in Washington, D.C., about which one of them could replace Robert Lighthizer, the Trump administration's powerful U.S. Trade Representative, or be named to a top economic post if Biden wins in November.

Biden's external advisory committee on trade includes Georgetown University law professor and former World Trade Organization judge Jennifer Hillman and Miriam Sapiro, a former deputy and acting U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) during the Obama administration, according to people familiar with the matter.

Choices may not come until after the election, but Biden has already begun thinking about people he wants in top jobs, his wife Jill told campaign donors on Aug. 27.

Biden's campaign declined to comment.

The USTR job in the past has sometimes gone to candidates passed over for higher-profile cabinet positions. But as the coronavirus recession drags on and U.S.-China competition grows, the agency is now at the center of economic policy and will likely manage ongoing negotiations with the European Union, Britain, Brazil and India.

Biden's need to unify his party behind a new presidency might also lead him to pick someone with a more progressive background, trade experts say.

Two labor-aligned policy specialists, Michael Wessel and Cathy Feingold, are also advising the Biden campaign, as is Todd Tucker, a Roosevelt Institute scholar who has been critical of Trump policies, and of trade policy crafted by Biden's former boss President Barack Obama.

Names floated by Washington trade experts as potential candidates for top roles are Fred Hochberg, the former U.S. Export-Import Bank chairman who recently wrote the book "Trade is Not a Four-Letter Word"; Rhonda Schmidtlein, a member of the U.S. International Trade Commission; and Robert Holleyman, a former deputy U.S. Trade Representative in the Obama administration.

Other potential candidates named by trade experts and lobbyists include some from Congress:

U.S. Representative Jimmy Gomez, a California progressive who helped negotiate stronger labor provisions in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA); Beth Baltzan of the Open Markets Institute, a former lawyer with USTR and Democrats on the House Ways and Means Committee who worked on legislation to secure improved aid for displaced workers; and Katherine Tai, the current trade counsel for House Ways and Means Democrats, who played a key role in negotiating the USMCA changes and previously headed China trade enforcement at USTR. (Reporting by David Lawder in Washington and Trevor Hunnicutt in Wilmington; Editing by Heather Timmons and Andrea Ricci)

Read the original article here.


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  • Mark Sanguinetti
    The U.S. trade representative when Barack Obama was president and Joe Biden was Vice President was Michael Froman. He favored the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and acted as a lobbyist for multi-national companies so that the companies could outsource production to foreign countries where they can get cheap labor through the overvalued U.S. dollar compared to undervalued foreign currencies, for example in China and Vietnam. Also so they can avoid U.S. Taxes. Very small taxes on U.S. imports with much higher overall taxes on U.S. manufactured goods and their productive workers does NOT follow the original U.S. constitution and has resulted in very high yearly U.S. trade deficits.

    Should any person representing their country as a trade representative when writing or talking about trade only mention exports and other related words such as exported, export, exporting, etc., and never mention import and its related words? As an example an article by Michael Froman published on May 10, 2015 in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper has twelve usages of export and related words, with seven additional export usages in a chart as part of the article. There are zero usages of import and its related words. Shouldn’t a trade representative when writing about trade, be concerned with the trade balance of their nation? Balance of trade is the largest component of a country’s balance of payments. It is the difference between a country’s imports and its exports. A country has a trade deficit if it imports more than it exports. The opposite scenario is a trade surplus.

    Michael Froman as US trade representative who like me is originally from the San Francisco bay area of California never mentioned our high U.S. imports, which lose real wealth creating United States production and also lose higher paying jobs for the majority of U.S. employees with less tax revenue flowing into the United States treasury. He either acted as a lobbyist for multi-national companies or he did not understand the minus symbol when doing math calculations. When he was the US trade representative, I wonder if he could have passed fourth grade math? Perhaps he could pass fourth grade math now, but not when he was US trade representative. When Michael Froman was at Stanford University in about the year 2015 he spoke in a room there to some people. I worked to educate the people at this event by handing out flyers at the entrance of this room to people with information about the creation of real wealth for a society or nation from a Stanford University text book. Here is a link to the first page of this educational book that I copied, printed and handed out to people. https://tppbadforus.info/real-wealth

    When I was inside this meeting, Froman asked if people had questions. When I raised my hand like other people did, he answered perhaps every other person who raised their hand to ask a question except me, Mark Sanguinetti. My question would have been if he understood how the balance of trade was calculated between nations with exports minus imports equaling the trade balance of a nation. I only got a security guard near me when I was sitting down in a chair. Perhaps I was scary for him, but I at least was allowed by Stanford University people to hand out flyers outside this event. I like Stanford University and sometimes cheer for them but I never cheered for Michael Froman at this event nor did I boo him.