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 alternative for commerce secretary, a submit that oversees not solely relations with the enterprise group but additionally expertise regulation, climate monitoring and the gathering of financial information, amongst different duties.
As governor of Rhode Island, Ms. Raimondo launched coaching applications, lower taxes, and eliminated regulations and supplied new loans to assist companies. She clashed with unions however ultimately found compromise as she overhauled the state pension plan.
Earlier than working 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, Level Judith Capital. Ms. Raimondo, 49, has a legislation diploma from Yale College and earned a doctorate from Oxford College, the place she was a Rhodes scholar.
The Commerce Division, which has practically 50,000 staff, has used its huge energy in the course of the Trump administration to curtail the entry of Chinese language corporations, together with the telecom giants Huawei and ZTE, to the American market and expertise. It additionally carried out investigations into the impact of imported metal and aluminum on the home trade, which led to Mr. Trump to impose international metallic tariffs on European and different international locations.
The division’s tasks additionally embrace areas which are anticipated to be central to the Biden administration, similar to financial promotion, making it a doubtlessly highly effective drive in the kind of industrial coverage that’s more and more embraced in Washington. The division promotes U.S. enterprise overseas by the Overseas Business Service, and strategically necessary companies at house by offering grants by the Financial Growth Administration.
The Commerce Division additionally incorporates the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which is answerable 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 Venture and Demand Progress criticized Ms. Raimondo as a “company insider” who locked in legal responsibility safety for companies however stripped funding from low-income areas of Rhode Island in the course of the pandemic.