Senate holds hearings today on Yellen, Blinken nominations



Doug Palmer | POLITICO

YELLEN, BLINKEN CONFIRMATION HEARINGS TODAY: Trade junkies will have to wait a while longer for Katherine Tai to testify on her nomination to be U.S. trade representative.

But it’s reasonable to expect that some trade issues could come up today, when Secretary of State-nominee Tony Blinken and Treasury nominee Janet Yellen go before the Senate Foreign Relations and Finance committees, respectively.

Blinken is a former White House national security adviser and deputy secretary of State. Yellen was Federal Reserve chair from 2014 to 2018. Both are likely to face questions about how the Biden administration will deal with challenges caused by China’s economic rise.

Yellen could also be pressed to lay out the Biden administration’s views on efforts by France and other European countries to impose digital service taxes on U.S. internet giants and whether tariff actions favored by the Trump administration are the appropriate tool to fight back.

Both nominees could be asked to clarify whether the incoming administration intends to continue negotiations with the United Kingdom and Kenya on free trade agreements, or whether Biden will ask for a renewal of trade promotion authority to pursue any additional deals.

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