CNBC Quotes Clete Willems on Yellen Pick as Treasury Secretary

Akin Gump public law and policy partner Clete Willems has been quoted in the CNBC article “What Janet Yellen’s nomination as Treasury secretary means for U.S. policy on China and trade,” from an interview on the Street Signs Asia program. The article reports that President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Treasury Department would, if confirmed, make Yellen a key figure in U.S. trade negotiations with China.

According to CNBC, Yellen, who previously served as Federal Reserve Chair, has in the past acknowledged concerns about Chinese industrial practices. While her policy stance on China is less known, the article says, she has supported open trade and the international trading system.

“If you look at her history, she has been more moderate on China issues than most folks in the Trump administration,” said Willems, a former top White House trade negotiator for President Trump who also served in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative during the Obama administration.

“I think the Biden administration wants to prioritize dialogue and communication, try to ease some of the tensions. I think that’s something to watch very closely here to see what kind of role she’s going to play,” Willems added.