Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai Celebrating Native American Heritage Month

November 01, 2023

Our Nation’s story on trade begins with our Indigenous communities.  From the Nacotchtank to the Kānaka Maoli, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Peoples were our first traders. 
This month is about honoring their rich history and roots as the original inhabitants of this land.  It is also about reflecting on what we want to be rooted in as a people, today and tomorrow—the values that sustain and drive us.
For USTR, they are fairness, opportunity, and inclusiveness.  This means crafting trade policy that delivers real benefits to more people across our economy, including and especially Indigenous communities.  It means building an economy that is just, where no community is left behind.
That is why it is a continued priority for me to speak directly with Indigenous leaders, enterprises, and community-based organizations, to meet them where they are and to learn their priorities and concerns.  Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USTR’s inaugural and now annual Tribal Consultations are an important opportunity for USTR to receive valuable input from Tribal leaders on our trade agenda.  In June 2023, we also issued a Federal Register Notice on how we can make the trade policymaking process more inclusive.  And later this month, for the first time, I will host an Indigenous leaders event during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in San Francisco. 
From President Biden and Vice President Harris on down, our entire administration is fully committed to using trade as a force for good for Indigenous workers everywhere.
Just as Native heritage and culture are foundational to our Nation’s identity and fabric, we are committed to lifting up Native voices as foundational pillars of our work going forward.  May our partnership bring genuine, lasting hope and prosperity for generations to come.