Biden Picks Rhode Island Governor Raimondo for Commerce Secretary
President-elect Joe Biden recently chose Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to serve as Secretary of Commerce in his Administration, set to take office next Wednesday. She was considered as Biden’s running mate during his campaign, and was also considered to run the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services; however, she publicly pulled her name out of the running for the latter, saying she would stay focused on Rhode Island.
Raimondo served as a former venture capitalist at a fund backed by Bain Capital, and she later started her own venture firm in Rhode Island. She was elected general treasurer of Rhode Island in 2011, and served in the position until she was elected governor of the state in 2014. She also served as head of the Democratic Governors Association in 2019.
Politico highlighted that if she is approved by the Senate, Raimondo will lead the Department of Commerce in a diverse group of responsibilities, such as setting international product standards, weather forecasting, and managing ocean fisheries.
Additionally, Raimondo will be in the middle of several international trade disputes that started during the tenure of Secretary Wilbur Ross. Ross helped President Trump enforce tariffs on aluminum and steel imports, which they said posed a threat to the United States’ national security. Duties were then imposed on the metals, which the European Union and other trading partners criticized.
Raimondo could play a major role in helping Biden decide whether to roll back the Trump Administration’s actions on international trade. However, relations with China are expected to remain tense, even if relations with the European Union are mended.