Remarks by Ambassador Katherine Tai at the 2023 White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders

WASHINGTON – United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai today delivered remarks at the 2023 White House Forum on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders at George Washington University in Washington, DC.  In her remarks, Ambassador Tai highlighted the rich history and contributions of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities and underscored the Biden-Harris Administration’s progress and commitments to advance equity, justice, and opportunity.

Ambassador Tai’s remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

Thank you, Secretary Becerra.  It has been an honor to serve alongside you as Co-Chair of the White House Initiative.  Thank you for your partnership and friendship.

Hello, everyone!  It is wonderful to see all of you here.  I’m told that this is the largest in-person gathering of AA and NHPIs under this Administration, and I’m so proud and grateful to stand here with you.

I’d like to echo the thanks to Krystal Ka’ai and the entire WHIAANHPI team; the White House Office of Public Engagement; and of course, my dear friend, Erika Moritsugu.

You all did an incredible job putting this together.  Your dedication to our communities is inspiring, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today is the one-year anniversary of Secretary Norm Mineta’s passing.  

Norm was the first for many things—first Asian American to serve in the Cabinet, and first chair of the White House Initiative when it was created more than twenty years ago.

But Secretary Mineta didn’t settle for just being the first—throughout his career, he was a constant force to pursue justice, and dedicated his life toward all of us taking steps forward, together.

That’s because Norm understood the power of our collective stories.

We are a community of communities, representing different walks of life, backgrounds, and upbringings.

We are strong because we are different, and today, we celebrate who we are and the tomorrow we’ll write together.  

Bigotry and violence threatened to rattle our communities for generations.  But those headwinds never kept us down.  Time and time again, we stood and marched forward, arm in arm.

And the Biden-Harris Administration has your back.  We’re in this together.  

From day one, our Administration has worked to empower our communities.  To make government work better for you.  To fight for economic justice.  To pursue inclusive prosperity.

In January, I was in Philadelphia to kick off the WHIAANHPI Economic Summit series.  Being there for that launch was important to me—because our work isn’t done in a vacuum, or just here in Washington. 

Later this week, I will be in Los Angeles and Monterey Park to meet with Congresswoman Judy Chu and local AA and NHPI leaders.  I will also speak at the University of Southern California to highlight the strength and resilience that our communities have demonstrated over generations.

We are out there, gathering face-to-face—where you live, work, and raise your families.  

As I travel around the world representing our country, your stories remind me of what I’m fighting for—our collective well-being, our collective liberty, and our collective visibility.

Your voices help drive our agenda at USTR, and we are putting you front and center in our trade policy.  We are looking at how trade has affected AA and NHPI communities and focusing on addressing disparities.

To lift up our workers, champion our businesses, and craft a freer and fairer tomorrow for all of us.

I know many in our communities have felt cast aside or have been treated like they are invisible.  But I am here to tell you—our Administration sees you, we hear you, and we stand with you.

Our journey will not be completed overnight, but each one of us holds the power and potential to perfect our Union.

So, today, let us write the next chapter of our beautiful story together, for all to see—one of hope, perseverance, and strength.  Let us be visible—together.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy the remainder of the Forum.