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Biden names Cognetti to trade advisory committee

Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti
Tom Riese
Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, speaking at the podium in this file photo, has been named by President Joe Biden to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

President Joe Biden on Friday announced that Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti is among his appointees to the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

The committee's role is to provide overall policy advice to the U.S. Trade Representative on matters connected with the development, implementation, and administration of federal trade policy.

“I'm honored to be appointed by President Biden to be a local government leader on the committee and to be able to bring to them the stories about what economic impact different trade negotiations would have on Scranton, and on small cities and regions in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” Cognetti told WVIA News.

According to a release issued by Cognetti’s office, the Committee includes up to 45 members recommended by the U.S. Trade Representative who are appointed by the President and have expertise in general trade, investment, and development issues. They include representatives of non-federal governments, labor, industry, agriculture, small business, service industries, retailers, nongovernmental environmental and conservation organizations, and consumer interests.

Cognetti, who has been mayor since January 2020, said the White House reached out to her in 2023 about serving on the panel. “These appointments, as you can imagine, require a significant vetting process,” the mayor said.

“It's truly an honor to be appointed by any president, but especially to be appointed by our hometown president here in Scranton,” Cognetti added.

Cognetti’s background is rooted in government oversight, investment management, international relations, and political campaigns, the release added.

She serves on the Advisory Board of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and chairs the Conference’s Metro Economies Standing Committee. She also serves on the boards of numerous other local leadership organizations, supporting fellow elected officials nationwide in promoting economic mobility, environmental sustainability, and efficient, transparent government.

“It will draw on a host of things from my resume and my interests,” Cognetti said, adding that the role will give her an opportunity to be involved in talks that could help attract new manufacturing jobs and other businesses to the region, and open new markets to the businesses that are already here.

“This is an opportunity to be at the table and see where trade negotiations can help that effort,” Cognetti said.

Cognetti is one of nine people to be named to the committee from around the country: Mitchell W. Berger, J. Michael Bowman, Amy Bircher Bruyn, Chris James, Omar Khan, Rob Larew, Nimish Patel and Mark A. Turner.

Roger DuPuis joins WVIA News from the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader. His 24 years of experience in journalism, as both a reporter and editor, included several years at The Scranton Times-Tribune. His beat assignments have ranged from breaking news, local government and politics, to business, healthcare, and transportation. He has a lifelong interest in urban transit, particularly light rail, and authored a book about Philadelphia's trolley system.

You can email Roger at rogerdupuis@wvia.org