Biden's trade pick vows to work more closely with allies

FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo Katherine Tai, the Biden administration's choice totake overas the U.S. trade representative, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. President Joe Bidens pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with Americas allies to combat Chinas aggressive trade policies. In a written testimony for her confirmation hearing Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, before the Senate Finance Committee, Tai, Biden's choice for U.S. trade representative, said she would prioritize rebuilding our international alliances and partnerships, and re-engaging with international institutions'' to present Beijing with a united front of U.S. allies.'' (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 11, 2020, file photo Katherine Tai, the Biden administration's choice totake overas the U.S. trade representative, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. President Joe Bidens pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with Americas allies to combat Chinas aggressive trade policies. In a written testimony for her confirmation hearing Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, before the Senate Finance Committee, Tai, Biden's choice for U.S. trade representative, said she would prioritize rebuilding our international alliances and partnerships, and re-engaging with international institutions'' to present Beijing with a united front of U.S. allies.'' (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden's pick to be the top U.S. trade envoy is promising to work with America's allies to combat China's aggressive trade policies, indicating a break from the Trump administration's go-it-alone approach.

In a written testimony for her confirmation hearing Thursday before the Senate Finance Committee, Katherine Tai, Biden's choice for U.S. trade representative, said she would “prioritize rebuilding our international alliances and partnerships, and re-engaging with international institutions'' to present Beijing with “a united front of U.S. allies.''

Fluent in Mandarin, Tai served several years as head of China enforcement at the trade representative's office.

“I know firsthand how critically important it is that we have a strategic and coherent plan for holding China accountable to its promises and effectively competing with its model of state-directed economics,'' Tai said.

Trump started a trade war with China, slapping taxes on $360 billion in Chinese imports in a fight over Beijing's sharp-elbowed efforts — alleged to include cybertheft — to promote its own technology companies and challenge the United States in fields such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Biden and his team have not said whether they will keep Trump's tariffs. But the new administration is unlikely to be in a hurry to go easy on Beijing.

U.S. legislators and policymakers across the political spectrum have taken an increasingly harder line on China, frustrated by its trade practices, crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong and relentless pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea, among other things.

“We must recommit to working relentlessly with others to promote and defend our shared values of freedom, democracy, truth, and opportunity in a just society," Tai said in her prepared remarks.