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Biden taps Janet Yellen as Treasury Secretary

[WASHINGTON] US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday named former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen as his choice for Treasury Secretary.

"Janet Yellen is nominated to serve as Secretary of the Treasury. If confirmed, she will be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in its 231-year history," Mr Biden's transition team said in a statement.

The 74-year-old previously broke barriers as the first female Fed chief, and will be tasked with revitalising the coronavirus-stricken US economy if confirmed by the Senate.

Mr Biden announced Ms Yellen's nomination - which was first reported last week - along with a number of other officials who would fill out his administration's economic team once he takes office in late January.

"As we get to work to control the virus, this is the team that will deliver immediate economic relief for the American people during this economic crisis and help us build our economy back better than ever," Mr Biden said in a statement.

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The United States has seen a sharp contraction in growth and tens of millions of job losses as it struggles with a resurgence of infections amid the world's largest Covid-19 outbreak.

Massive stimulus spending approved earlier in the year has helped blunt some of the downturn, but Ms Yellen likely will be tasked with breaking a deadlock in Congress over passing more aid, which analysts say is needed to avert renewed economic pain.

Mr Biden also announced that Neera Tanden, president of liberal think tank Center for American Progress, as his pick to head the Office of Management and Budget.

Nigerian-born Wally Adeyemo, a former deputy national security advisor, will serve as deputy Treasury secretary, the statement said.

AFP

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