Ms. Raimondo, a reasonable Democrat with a background within the monetary trade, has served as governor since 2015. She is seen as a comparatively conventional selection for commerce secretary, a publish that oversees not solely relations with the enterprise neighborhood but additionally know-how regulation, climate monitoring and the gathering of financial knowledge, amongst different duties.
As governor of Rhode Island, Ms. Raimondo launched coaching packages, minimize taxes, and eradicated rules and provided new loans to help companies. She clashed with unions however in the end discovered compromise as she overhauled the state pension plan.
Before operating for workplace, she was a founding worker on the funding agency Village Ventures, which was backed by Bain Capital, and co-founded a enterprise capital agency, Point Judith Capital. Ms. Raimondo, 49, has a legislation diploma from Yale University and earned a doctorate from Oxford University, the place she was a Rhodes scholar.
The Commerce Department, which has practically 50,000 workers, has used its huge energy throughout the Trump administration to curtail the entry of Chinese corporations, together with the telecom giants Huawei and ZTE, to the American market and know-how. It additionally carried out investigations into the impact of imported metal and aluminum on the home trade, which led to Mr. Trump to impose world metallic tariffs on European and different nations.
The division’s obligations additionally embrace areas which might be anticipated to be central to the Biden administration, reminiscent of financial promotion, making it a doubtlessly highly effective pressure in the kind of industrial coverage that’s more and more embraced in Washington. The division promotes U.S. enterprise overseas by way of the Foreign Commercial Service, and strategically necessary companies at home by offering grants by way of the Economic Development Administration.
The Commerce Department additionally comprises the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is accountable for monitoring the climate and managing American fisheries, making it a possible participant in Mr. Biden’s hopes to gradual local weather change.
Some progressive teams have protested Ms. Raimondo’s choice, arguing that the Biden administration ought to look to a populist Democrat as an alternative. In an announcement on Wednesday, the Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress criticized Ms. Raimondo as a “corporate insider” who locked in legal responsibility safety for companies however stripped funding from low-income areas of Rhode Island throughout the pandemic.