USTR: Hurlburt latest to leave


The Office of the United States Trade Representative today announced that Heather Hurlburt will step down as chief of staff on January 26, 2024.   Jamila Thompson, a current senior advisor to the U.S. Trade Representative, will serve as acting chief of staff following Hurlburt’s departure. 

“As my chief of staff, Heather has contributed her extensive expertise in foreign and national security policy to USTR’s efforts to build resilient and sustainable worker-centered trade policies,” Ambassador Katherine Tai said.  "I am and will always be grateful to Heather for her decision to join me at this small and mighty agency in such an important role and at such an important time.

With nearly two decades of congressional service before joining USTR at the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration, Thompson previously served as chief of staff to Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District, and deputy chief of staff for the late U.S. Representative John Lewis (GA-05).

Bianchi reported next to go

Monday Politico reported Deputy US Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi will be leaving.  Ms. Bianchi, a highly regarded policy advisor has responsibilities for for Asia, Africa, Investment, Services, Textiles, and Industrial Competitiveness.

Cunningham nomination vexes more Dems

Meanwhile, the nomination of Washington Lobbyist Nelson Cunningham as Deputy USTR continues to draw criticism from advocates of the President's "Worker-Centered" trade policy.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) released a statement in response the Mr. Nelson's nomination, echoing other Democratic trade legislators.:

“I was incredibly surprised at the nomination of Nelson Cunningham as Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, given that he has spent much of his career promoting corporate interests and supported trade policies that put maximizing profits for the biggest corporations over middle-class American workers...

“Our trade nominees should have a track record of fighting off efforts to outsource good-paying American jobs. On these metrics, Mr. Cunningham has failed. The administration should be promoting trade nominees that reflect worker-centered trade values in the future, not the failed trade policies of the past.”

Cunningham was nominated to replace Jayme White who left his post at the US Trade Representative’s Office effective November 1.  Mr. White’s portfolio at USTR had been Western Hemisphere, Europe and the Middle East and on labor and environmental issues. On November 2, Ms. Tai announced that Cara Morrow would be taking on the position of "senior advisor, overseeing close coordination with the Office of Western Hemisphere, the Office of Europe and the Middle East, the Office of Labor Affairs and the Office of Environment and Natural Resources."


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