Ambassador Tai’s Day One Message to USTR Staff

March 19, 2021

Hello USTR!

It has been almost seven years since my last “All Staff” message, bidding all of you a farewell that, as it turns out, was temporary.  Getting sworn in yesterday by the first female, African American, and Asian American Vice President is the best possible birthday present. And it is a great honor to return to the Winder Building today to serve alongside all of you again. 

I’m looking forward to getting to work immediately. I know we face significant challenges both, as an institution and as a country, and I am looking forward to hearing from all of you about those challenges so that we can get going on our ambitious agenda. We have a clear mandate from President Biden to leverage trade to help our economy recover and build back better. Working together with our colleagues across the Administration, we will challenge the preconceived notions about what trade policy should look like.  Through unprecedented engagement, we will pursue policies that advance the interests of all Americans, support American innovation and promote broad, equitable growth by giving workers a seat at the table. 

As I stated in my confirmation hearing, from implementing and enforcing USMCA, to rebuilding our alliances, tackling climate change, ending the COVID-19 pandemic, advancing racial and gender equity, addressing the challenges posed by China – and more – we will have to walk, chew gum and play chess at the same time. I know the expertise, the talent, and the commitment that all of you bring to everything that you do. I have faith that we will collectively rise to this challenge. 

Meeting this moment will require us all to have an open mind and embrace the tremendous possibilities that can come from thinking outside the box. It means looking at old problems in new ways, and looking at new problems in even newer ways. And it includes actively embracing a more diverse and inclusive team while engaging stakeholders and communities that trade policy often overlooks. 

While we are making great strides towards ending the pandemic, it may be some time before we can all get together in person.  But I am confident that we will work diligently on behalf of the American people to promote and defend our shared values of freedom, democracy, truth, and opportunity in a just society. Through it all, we will treat each of our fellow teammates with the dignity, respect and trust that is deserved and expected in return. Beyond our work together to advocate for the interests of American workers, the American economy, and American leadership – I commit to you that I will carry the voice of this small and mighty agency into every room I enter. 

I know the professional and personal integrity that all of you possess. And it is with a very deep respect that I share with you my excitement for all that I know we can achieve together. 

Let’s get to work!

Ambassador Tai