APRIL 7, 2021
Kuttner on TAP
Another Sketchy Biden Appointment: Bianchi to USTR
For the most part, Biden’s key economic appointments have been great. But the old team of corporate Dems is not going quietly.

For U.S. trade rep, Biden made a strong pick in Katherine Tai, who has a very different view of the national interest from that of corporate trade traditionalists. Now, however, it appears that Tai may get saddled with a deputy who is very much old-school corporate globalist.

According to Bloomberg, the favored outlet for Biden leaks and trial balloons, the deputy job is almost certain to go to Sarah Bianchi.

Who is Bianchi? She is a senior managing director for Evercore ISI International, an investment bank founded and headed by Roger Altman, the very definition of a corporate Democrat. She previously worked for BlackRock and Airbnb.

Why Bianchi? She is a longtime staffer to Biden and other Democrats, having worked as deputy director of the National Economic Council in Obama’s second term, and as Biden’s policy chief. Previously, Bianchi worked for Kerry and Gore, and for the center-right Democratic Leadership Council.

Bianchi appears to be another of those revolving-door Democrats with very close personal ties to President Biden—a Biden whisperer. Jobs for these people apparently have to be found. If so, could we please find one where she can do less damage than USTR, where we finally have a breath of fresh air and the last thing we need is more corporate Democrats.

Even more weirdly, Bianchi is being given the USTR China portfolio. But she knows next to nothing about China, one of the administration’s top economic and security priorities. Thus the bizarre process of stashing old Biden hands beloved by the corporate elite.

This is described by my sources as a done deal. Think again?

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