Speaking on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, denounced those remarks and urged his colleagues to vote against Ms. Raimondo. “There has been a rush to embrace the worst elements of the Chinese Communist Party in the Biden administration. And that includes Governor Raimondo,” he said.
Under Mr. Trump, the Commerce Department played an outsize role in trade policy, levying tariffs on imported aluminum and steel for national security reasons, investigating additional tariffs on cars and placing a variety of curbs on technology exports to China.
Ms. Raimondo and other Biden administration officials have not clarified whether they will keep those restrictions, saying they will first carry out a comprehensive review of their effects.
Dr. Rouse is the dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, and a former member of the council under President Barack Obama. Her academic research has focused on education, discrimination and the forces that hold some people back in the American economy. She won widespread praise from Republicans and Democrats alike in her confirmation hearing, with senators voting unanimously to send her nomination from the Banking Committee to the full Senate.
She will assume her post amid an economic and public health crisis from the coronavirus pandemic, and in the waning days of congressional debate on a $1.9 trillion economic aid package that Mr. Biden has made his first major legislative priority.
But in interviews and her hearing testimony, Dr. Rouse has made clear that she sees a larger set of priorities as council chair: overhauling the inner workings of the federal government to promote racial and gender equity in the economy.
“As deeply distressing as this pandemic and economic fallout have been,” she said in her hearing, “it is also an opportunity to rebuild the economy better than it was before — making it work for everyone by increasing the availability of fulfilling jobs and leaving no one vulnerable to falling through the cracks.”