AFT Sends Letter to Senate Finance Committee Leadership in Support of USTR Nominee Katherine Tai, Urges Quick Confirmation

WASHINGTON, D.C., (February, 24, 2021) — Today, Americans for Free Trade, a broad coalition of American businesses, trade organizations, and workers united against tariffs sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Mike Crapo urging a quick confirmation of United States Trade Representative nominee Katherine Tai. 

“Ms. Tai is eminently qualified to craft a comprehensive, thoughtful, and strategic approach to U.S. trade policy that helps fuel a successful economic recovery for American families, workers, and businesses,” Americans for Free Trade wrote. “We urge the Senate Finance Committee to advance Ms. Tai’s nomination expeditiously, and we urge the full Senate to vote on her confirmation without delay.”

Throughout the letter, Americans for Free Trade highlighted how Americans are facing unprecedented difficulty due to COVID-19 and outlined how certainty can be provided by collaborating with our trading partners and allies instead of retaliating against them. 

The full text of the letter may be found here and below.

February 24, 2021

The Honorable Ron Wyden
Senate Committee on Finance
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Mike Crapo
Ranking Member   
Senate Committee on Finance
Washington, DC 20510     

Dear Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo,

The Americans for Free Trade coalition, a broad alliance of American businesses, trade organizations and workers united against tariffs, respectfully writes in support of the nomination of Katherine Tai to become the next U.S. Trade Representative. We applaud the scheduling of Ms. Tai’s nomination hearing, to take place on February 25, and we urge her quick confirmation by the Senate.

Ms. Tai and the Biden Administration have promised a “worker-centric trade policy.” Our coalition proudly represents every part of the U.S. economy including manufacturing, farming and agribusinesses, retail, technology, services, natural gas and oil, importers, exporters, and other supply chain stakeholders. Collectively, we support tens of millions of American jobs through our vast supply chains. 

American families, workers, and businesses face unprecedented difficulty and uncertainty from the ongoing economic harm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As American businesses try to implement and sustain a full and successful recovery, they need as much certainty as possible. That certainty can be provided in many ways, including by collaborating with our trading partners and allies to address violations of U.S. trade law and by negotiating trade agreements that open markets for– rather than trigger retaliation against – American exporters and the tens of millions of American workers who rely on export markets around the world.

Further, ensuring the United States has a cohesive and strategic policy to take on China’s unfair trading practices – but does not cause collateral damage to American families, workers, and businesses – is vital to easing existing financial pain and providing certainty that can help fuel a successful recovery. Over the last several years, American businesses and families have been assessed more than $85 billion in additional tariffs. Tariffs are taxes, and they have resulted in less money in the pockets of American familie, a slowdown in U.S. manufacturing, and decreased competitiveness for American businesses vis-à-vis their counterparts in Europe and Asia.

However, the development of a comprehensive China strategy, the opening of markets to U.S. goods and services, the enforcement of U.S. trade agreements, and a meaningful review of the negative impact tariffs have had on American families, workers, and businesses – all of which will help provide certainty and support a successful U.S. economic recovery – cannot happen without a confirmed U.S. Trade Representative in place.

Ms. Tai is eminently qualified to craft a comprehensive, thoughtful, and strategic approach to U.S. trade policy that helps fuel a successful economic recovery for American families, workers, and businesses. We urge the Senate Finance Committee to advance Ms. Tai’s nomination expeditiously, and we urge the full Senate to vote on her confirmation without delay. 


Accessories Council

ACT | The App Association

Agriculture Transportation Coalition (AgTC)

ALMA, International (Association of Loudspeaker Manufacturing and Acoustics)

American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA)

American Association of Exporters and Importers (AAEI)

American Association of Port Authorities

American Bakers Association

American Bridal & Prom Industry Association (ABPIA)

American Chemistry Council

American Coatings Association, Inc. (ACA)

American Down and Feather Council

American Fly Fishing Trade Association

American Home Furnishings Alliance

American Lighting Association

American Petroleum Institute

American Pyrotechnics Association

American Rental Association

American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

American Wind Energy Association

Arizona Technology Council

Arkansas Grocers and Retail Merchants Association

Association For Creative Industries

Association for PRINT Technologies

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

Auto Care Association

Beer Institute

BSA | The Software Alliance

California Retailers Association

Can Manufacturers Institute

Carolina Loggers Association

Chemical Industry Council of Delaware (CICD)

Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT)

Coalition of Services Industries (CSI)

Colorado Retail Council

Columbia River Customs Brokers and Forwarders Assn.

Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA)

Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA)

Consumer Brands Association

Consumer Technology Association

Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)

CropLife America

Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders Assn. of Washington State

Customs Brokers & Freight Forwarders of Northern California

Distilled Spirits Council of the United States

Electronic Transactions Association

Experiential Designers and Producers Association

Fashion Accessories Shippers Association (FASA)

Fashion Jewelry & Accessories Trade Association

Flexible Packaging Association

Florida Ports Council

Florida Retail Federation

Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA)

Fragrance Creators Association

Game Manufacturers Association

Gemini Shippers Association

Georgia Retailers

Global Chamber®

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Greeting Card Association

Halloween Industry Association

Home Fashion Products Association

Home Furnishings Association

Household and Commercial Products Association

Idaho Retailers Association

Illinois Retail Merchants Association

Independent Office Products & Furniture

Dealers Association (IOPFDA)

Indiana Retail Council

Information Technology Industry Council (ITI)

International Association of Amusement Parks

and Attractions (IAAPA)

International Bottled Water Association (IBWA)

International Foodservice Distributors Association

International Housewares Association

International Warehouse and Logistics Association

International Wood Products Association

Internet Association

Jeweler’s Vigilance Committee

Juice Products Association (JPA)

Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association

Leather and Hide Council of America

Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association

Los Angeles Customs Brokers and Freight

Forwarders Assn.

Louisiana Retailers Association

Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association

Maine Lobster Dealers’ Association

Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay

Maryland Retailers Association

Methanol Institute

Michigan Chemistry Council

Michigan Retailers Association

Minnesota Retailers Association

Missouri Retailers Association

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association

Motorcycle Industry Council

NAPIM (National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers)

National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

National Association of Foreign-Trade Zones (NAFTZ)

National Association of Home Builders

National Association of Music Merchants

National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM)

National Confectioners Association

National Council of Chain Restaurants

National Customs Brokers and Freight Forwarders Association of America

National Fisheries Institute

National Foreign Trade Council

National Grocers Association

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

National Marine Manufacturers Association

National Restaurant Association

National Retail Federation

National Ski & Snowboard Retailers Association

National Sporting Goods Association

New Jersey Retail Merchants Association

North American Association of Uniform

Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD)

North Carolina Retail Merchants Association

Ohio Council of Retail Merchants

Outdoor Industry Association

Pacific Coast Council of Customs Brokers and

Freight Forwarders Assns. Inc.

Pennsylvania Retailers’ Association


Personal Care Products Council

Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council

Petroleum Equipment & Services Association

Plumbing Manufacturers International

Power Tool Institute (PTI)

Promotional Products Association International

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association

Retail Association of Maine

Retail Council of New York State

Retail Industry Leaders Association

Retailers Association of Massachusetts

RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound


San Diego Customs Brokers and Forwarders Assn.


Semiconductor Industry Association

Snowsports Industries America

Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates

Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA)

South Dakota Retailers Association

Specialty Equipment Market Association

Specialty Vehicle Institute of America

Sports & Fitness Industry Association


Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

Texas Retailers Association

Texas Water Infrastructure Network

The Airforwarders Association

The Fertilizer Institute

The Hardwood Federation

The Toy Association

Travel Goods Association

United States Council for International Business

United States Fashion Industry Association

US Global Value Chain Coalition

US-China Business Council

Vinyl Institute

Virginia Retail Merchants Association

Virginia-DC District Export Council (VA-DC DEC)

Washington Retail Association

Window and Door Manufacturers Association

World Pet Association, Inc. (WPA)CC: Senate Finance Committee Members