By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor
U.S. Trade Rep Katherine Tai fired back with a terse response after being criticized during a House hearing for being “too nice.”
Rep Greg Murphy (R-NC) expressed his frustration about what he called a lack of “moving the needle on trade.”
“I personally think you’re too nice of a person to be in the job that you’re in,” he said. “I think you’re handicapped because of administrative folks you have to report to that are handicapping you in your job. Negotiators are usually very very tough and sometimes mean people. They aren’t nice people like you are…I feel sorry for you. You’re stuck in the middle.”
Tai chuckled at his remarks at first deflecting it with a joke.
“Congressman, I can assure you I know to be nice to the members of the Ways and Means committee and I’ve never been faulted for being too nice.”
“You have too nice of a smile,” Murphy interrupted.
“I also don’t need you to be sorry for me, so please don’t…Let me take off my nice for you. I don’t need your pity. I stand up for the American people and when I speak, people listen because I represent the people of the United States.”
The Democratic Women’s Caucus immediately came to Tai’s defense on social media.
“If we had a nickel for every time a woman in a position of power was told she was too nice to get her job done…” the caucus tweeted followed by a frowning emoji.
Asian American women also chimed in. “Being too nice or docile are stereotypes attached to Asian women that’s been used to limit their potential in the workplace,” Chung Seto said.
Tai has a law degree from Harvard University and is fluent in Mandarin. She is the chief trade negotiator on U.S. trade policy.
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