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Wally Adeyemo, President Joe Biden’s candidate for Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, is expected to focus on national security, including attacking China for unfair practices, during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Adeyemo is scheduled to appear before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. According to prepared preliminary remarks obtained by CBS News, Adeyemo will say that containing the Coronavirus pandemic is not only necessary for economic prosperity, but also essential for advancing national security. He also plans to build on his experience as deputy national security adviser under former President Obama.

“If confirmed, I was asked by [Treasury] Secretary Yellen work on a number of the Treasury’s national security priorities, ”Adeyemo is expected to say.

It will focus on US competitiveness, with the US reclaiming its credibility as a global leader and using the tools of the Treasury Department to protect citizens from foreign and domestic threats.

“Treasury tools must play a role in responding to authoritarian governments seeking to subvert our democratic institutions; to combat unfair economic practices in China and elsewhere; and to detect and eliminate terrorist organizations seeking to harm us,” he will say.

Deputy Treasury Secretary candidate to focus on national security in confirmation hearing
U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo speaks during an event to appoint President Biden’s economic team at the Queen Theater on December 1, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware.

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On US competitiveness, Adeyemo will call for innovation, targeted investments in industries and technologies, and the pursuit of policies that protect US workers from anti-competitive business practices.

“Taking steps to invest in us will put our businesses and our workers in the best position to be globally competitive,” he said. “American businesses and workers are the most innovative in the world and have always thrived when allowed to compete on an equal footing.”

Adeyemo will also advocate working with allies to address threats to both economic and national security.

Adeyemo’s confirmation hearing comes as Democrats in Congress move forward with a $ 1.9 trillion COVID relief package. During his remarks, Adeyemo will speak about witnessing the devastation caused by the Great Recession on the California neighborhood where he grew up and the impact of COVID-19 on the region.

“Addressing the challenges facing the people of the Inland Empire and communities like it across the country is in our economic and national security interests,” he said. “The steps we take today must not only protect these Americans from COVID-19, but should also lay the groundwork for years of economic prosperity and opportunity.”

Adeyemo will be introduced at the hearing by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, for whom he was previously chief of staff, helping to form the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Before being appointed to the post of Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, Adeyemo also served as Deputy Director of the National Economic Council.

If confirmed, Adeyemo would become the first African American to serve as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury.


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