Biden relies heavily on Capitol Hill aides for trade office

Six Capitol Hill aides named to join USTR

Tai, the nominee to lead the U.S. trade office, comes from the House Ways and Means Committee. The administration said Monday it would take six other Hill aides for other USTR positions.  (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Tai, the nominee to lead the U.S. trade office, comes from the House Ways and Means Committee. The administration said Monday it would take six other Hill aides for other USTR positions. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Posted February 8, 2021 at 10:34am

The Biden administration is turning to Congress to assemble a staff for the U.S. Trade Representative's Office.

The administration has nominated Katherine Tai, chief trade counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, to lead the agency as trade representative. Tai is awaiting a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. 

To fill other agency positions, the administration named 13 more appointees on Monday, including six who come from positions on Capitol Hill, one who comes from the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra after a career that included stints on the Hill, and others with experience in Congress. 

The U.S. Trade Representative's Office said in a statement that the appointees will work "to strengthen relationships with our allies, respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, combat climate change, and create a more equitable and inclusive economy."

The appointees are:

  • Sirat K. Attapit, director of legislative affairs for California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as assistant trade representative for intergovernmental affairs. Attapit's LinkedIn profile shows she worked as counsel for Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas, on the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources.
  • Jan Beukelman, legislative director for Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., as assistant trade representative for congressional affairs.
  • Maíra Ferranti Corrêa, manager on the Biden-Harris campaign digital team, as digital media director.
  • Adam Hodge, senior vice president for external affairs at Ariel Investments, as assistant trade representative for media and public affairs. He is a former press secretary for House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., and worked in the office of former Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.
  • Ethan Holmes, economic policy adviser to Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., as special assistant.
  • Ginna Lance, associate operations manager for the Overdeck Family Foundation and a former aide to then-Vice President Joe Biden, as deputy chief of staff.
  • Samuel Negatu, legislative director for Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., as congressional affairs director.
  • Greta Peisch, senior international trade counsel for Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., as general counsel.
  • Brad Setser, senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, as counselor.  
  • Shantanu Tata, senior policy adviser to Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Wash., as executive secretary and adviser.
  • Jamila Thompson, deputy chief of staff for the late Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., as senior adviser.  
  • Nora Todd, chief economic adviser for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, as chief of staff.
  • Mark Wu, Henry L. Stimson Professor and vice dean for the Harvard Law School and International Legal Studies, as senior adviser.