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Senate confirms Raimondo to lead Commerce Department

The criticism stemmed from her affirmation listening to, when Raimondo initially declined to commit to protecting Chinese language telecommunications agency Huawei on the Commerce Department’s Entity Record, a blacklist that prohibits U.S. companies from doing enterprise with hostile international firms.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) subsequently put a maintain on her nomination, forcing the Senate to overrule him in a procedural vote Monday night. In flooring feedback on Tuesday earlier than her affirmation, he once more bashed her nomination as “a part of a sample” of the Biden administration easing stress on China.

“She would not even commit to protecting Huawei on the record, which is unabashedly an espionage company of the Chinese language Communist Get together,” Cruz mentioned.

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However most senators dismissed these considerations, placated by Raimondo’s subsequent promise to preserve Huawei and different companies on the record for now. Democrats touted her non-public sector expertise and workforce coaching applications forward of her affirmation vote.

Enterprise-friendly Democrat: Raimondo will come to her publish recent off six years as Rhode Island’s first feminine governor, the place she rolled again enterprise laws and overhauled the state’s pension plan. Earlier than that, she served because the state’s treasurer and labored at a enterprise capital agency backed by Bain Capital. A graduate of Harvard and Yale Legislation, she beforehand clerked on the U.S. District Courtroom for the Southern District of New York.

Commerce disputes raging: Raimondo may have to arbitrate numerous worldwide commerce disputes initiated by her predecessor, Wilbur Ross.

Ross expanded the division’s function in commerce, spearheading the administration’s effort to impose tariffs on international imports of metal and aluminum with a seldom-used nationwide safety provision in U.S. legislation.

For the primary time, he additionally exercised the company’s authority to set tariffs on nations it designates as foreign money manipulators. And he was answerable for including Huawei, in addition to a number of Chinese language navy and surveillance companies, to the Entity Record.

Local weather change: The Commerce Department, house to the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Nationwide Institute of Requirements and Expertise, might additionally play a significant function within the Biden administration’s local weather change plans. As governor of a coastal state, Raimondo signed an govt order to transfer Rhode Island towards a one hundred pc renewable electrical energy future by 2030 and labored with a neighborhood firm to full the primary offshore wind farm within the U.S.

Coverage critiques coming: Raimondo has given little indication how she’s going to deal with former President Donald Trump’s tariffs or the quite a few exclusions Commerce granted to U.S. metal and aluminum importers.

Raimondo promised an intensive evaluation of these Trump insurance policies in follow-up feedback to senators final month, protecting with the Biden administration’s pledge to maintain off lifting any duties regardless of pleas from main segments of U.S. business harmed by the tariffs.

These critiques will contain not simply Commerce, but in addition the U.S. Commerce Consultant, Treasury secretary and White Home nationwide safety and financial groups.

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