Biden Selects Heads of Labor, Commerce and Small Business Agencies
Ms. Raimondo, a moderate Democrat with a background in the financial industry, has been the governor since 2015. She is considered a relatively traditional choice for trade secretaries, a position who oversees not only relationships with the business world but also the regulation of technology. Weather monitoring and collection of economic data among others.
As governor of Rhode Island, Ms. Raimondo instituted training programs, cut taxes and eliminated regulations, and offered new corporate loans. She clashed with unions but ultimately found a compromise when she revised the state pension plan.
Prior to running for office, she was a founding employee at investment firm Village Ventures, supported by Bain Capital, and was a co-founder of venture capital firm Point Judith Capital. Ms. Raimondo, 49, holds a law degree from Yale University and a PhD from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Fellow.
The Commerce Department, which has nearly 50,000 employees, used its tremendous power during the Trump administration to restrict access to the American market and technology for Chinese companies, including telecommunications giants Huawei and ZTE. Research has also been conducted on the effects of imported steel and aluminum on domestic industries, leading to Mr Trump imposing global metal tariffs on European and other countries.
The department’s responsibilities also include areas that are expected to be central to the Biden administration, such as business development, making it a potentially powerful force in the type of industrial policy that is increasingly being adopted in Washington becomes. The division promotes US business overseas through the Foreign Commercial Service and strategically important corporations domestically through the provision of grants through the Economic Development Administration.
The Commerce Department also houses the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is responsible for monitoring weather and managing American fisheries. This makes her a potential player in Mr. Biden’s hopes of slowing climate change.
Some progressive groups have protested Ms. Raimondo’s selection, arguing that the Biden government should turn to a populist Democrat instead. In an announcement on Wednesday, the Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress criticized Ms. Raimondo as a “corporate insider,” which includes corporate liability coverage but grazes funding from low-income areas of Rhode Island during the pandemic.