(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden is likely to name longtime aide and Obama administration veteran Sarah Bianchi as deputy U.S. trade representative, according to people familiar with the matter.
Bianchi is a senior managing director at Evercore ISI International and has previously worked for BlackRock Inc. and Airbnb Inc. She is also chair on the advisory board of the Biden Institute at the University of Delaware.
A decision isn’t final and Bianchi is still being vetted, the people said. They asked not to be identified because her nomination hasn’t been announced.
During the second term of the Obama administration, Bianchi served as deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and director of policy for then-Vice President Biden.
Spokespeople for the White House and USTR didn’t respond to requests for comment. Bianchi declined to comment.
If confirmed by the Senate, Bianchi would work under Biden’s trade representative, Katherine Tai, who was sworn in last month and has promised that the agency would promote American workers. The trade agency has multiple deputy representatives and it’s not yet clear which portfolio Bianchi will supervise, the people said.
Bianchi would help “reset the trade agenda with China and ensure a results-oriented approach,” said Michael Wessel, a commissioner with the U.S.-China Economic & Security Review Commission. “The Chinese and others would know that she speaks with authority, as she has been a long-time member of the president’s inner circle.”
Biden’s trade office must tackle a long list of disputes that began under President Donald Trump, ranging from enforcement of a China trade deal to national security tariffs on European steel and aluminum.
Biden himself has declined to say whether he will keep in place Trump’s remaining tariffs on more than $300 billion in Chinese imports and if he will build on the phase one trade agreement Trump signed with Beijing.
The president’s team is still reviewing policies put in place under Trump and has not yet determined which it will adopt.
But the new U.S. administration has made clear it will depart from unilateralism and has already engaged with allies in Europe and Asia to cooperate on confronting challenges like China and climate change.
(Updates with comment on Bianchi, in seventh paragraph.)
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