By Andrea Shalal and David Lawder
WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Janet Yellen, President Joe Biden’s nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary, highlighted the new government’s focus on domestic investment to improve workers’ position and infrastructure projects before embarking on new trade agreements.
Yellen, whose nomination will be put to a vote in the Senate Finance Committee at 1500 GMT on Friday, was also in favour of working more closely with allied countries to put pressure on China.
Asked by committee members whether the government would prioritize a trade pact with Taiwan, Yellen replied, “President Biden has made it clear that he will not sign any new free trade agreements before the United States makes significant investments in American workers and our infrastructure.”
“Our economic recovery at home must be our top priority,” he added.
At the same time, he said the new administration planned to pursue “a strong trade agenda” and would work closely with Biden to “reach our allies, rebuild bridges, and seek trade agreements that support American prosperity and put workers first,” according to a copy of their written responses to lawmakers after their confirmation hearing on Tuesday. (Report by Andrea Shalal and David Lawder. Edited in Spanish by Marion Giraldo)