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Response to cali (Original post)

Mon Jul 1, 2013, 03:57 PM

47. "NZ Council Applauds Nominations of Froman and Pritzker for Key Trade"


US | NZ Council Applauds Nominations of Froman and Pritzker for Key Trade Posts
The new USTR and Commerce Secretary have the opportunity to re-Invigorate the U.S. trade agenda and move TPP talks toward a successful conclusion.

The United States | New Zealand Council today commended President Obama's nomination of Michael Froman to be U.S. Trade Representative and Penny Pritzker to be U.S. Commerce Secretary.

"At a time when U.S. trade policy requires strong leadership, today's announcement is welcomed news," said William Maroni, president of the US | NZ Council. "Given the challenges facing the global trading community, the positions of U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce have never been more important than they are now."

The US | NZ Council, an independent, non-partisan group that promotes trade and investment liberalization, praised the choice of Michael Froman to be U.S. Trade Representative. As Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs, he has been intimately involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and key trade policy decisions.

"Mr. Froman's experience ensures that momentum will continue uninterrupted for the TPP talks and other trade initiatives," said Maroni. "This is essential, especially with regard to the Asia-Pacific region."

The US | NZ Council also applauded Commerce Secretary nominee Penny Pritzker. As a business executive, entrepreneur, civic leader, and philanthropist, Ms. Pritzker will assume the helm of a 43,000-employee agency with responsibility for enforcing U.S. trade laws and promoting American exports.

"Ms. Pritzker not only knows what it takes to build a successful global business," said Maroni. "Her commitment to education and training issues underscores her understanding of what it will take to remain competitive in the world economy.".

The US | NZ Council urged the United States Senate to confirm both nominees swiftly, so they can begin their important work without further delay.




Pritzker, of course, was a bundler for and co-chair of Obama's 2012 campaign, collecting at least $500,000 (and possibly much more), according to information given out by the campaign And she was chair of the finance committee for his 2008 campaign, helping him bring in the millions he needed to raise after he decided not to accept public financing; she herself bundled between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama in that earlier cycle. She also gave $250,000 to help fund her fellow Chicagoan's 2013 inaugural.

Pritzker and her husband, Bryan Taubert, have contributed a total of more than $988,000 at the federal level since 1990, according to Center for Responsive Politics research, spreading most of it among 119 different federal candidates. Topping the list is Obama, to whom they started giving in 2000; he's collected $55,600. That's more than triple the $14,200 the Pritzkers gave to their second-ranking recipient, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). Hillary Clinton came in third at $10,800.

Almost all the candidates to whom the Pritzkers have contributed are Democrats, but there are a few exceptions: They gave $1,000 to George W. Bush for his 2000 presidential campaign, and another $2,000 in 2004 for his re-election effort. They've also given to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), former Rep. Tom Campbell (R-Calif.) and a handful of other Republicans.

Pritzker also gave about $120,000 to various Democratic party committees in the 2010 and 2012 campaign cycles combined.

Michael Froman--Law school classmate/bundler gets trade slot

The other nomination Obama announced today was that of Michael Froman, currently a deputy national security adviser, to be U.S. Trade Representative. Froman and his wife, Nancy Goodman, are in a different league from Pritzker and her husband, both in terms of personal wealth and political contributions. They've given a total of $56,560 to political candidates, parties and outside spending groups since they started donating in 2000, including $7,700 to Obama.

However, Froman, who was a Harvard Law School classmate of the president, was a bundler for Obama's 2008 campaign, raising between $200,000 and $500,000.

Although Froman has worked at the White House since 2009 -- he was the key negotiator on several free trade deals -- he was a managing director at Citigroup Management Corp. for the decade before Obama took office.


Penny Pritzker Confirmed for Commerce by 97-1 Vote
Bernie Sanders Lone Vote

The Senate on Tuesday voted to approve billionaire Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker to lead the U.S. Commerce Department, where she has promised to serve as a bridge between the White House and the business community.

The Senate backed President Barack Obama’s choice of Pritzker by a vote of 97-1, with independent Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont casting the only dissenting vote.

Pritzker, an heiress to the Hyatt hotel fortune and one of the wealthiest Americans, was national finance chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign and co-chair of his 2012 re-election bid.

She takes charge of a government bureaucracy that includes the U.S. Patent Office, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Census Bureau as well as agencies that promote exports, administer laws against unfairly traded imports and control overseas sales of sensitive U.S. technology.

Pritzker told the Senate Commerce Committee during her confirmation hearing that Obama wanted her to be “a bridge between the administration and the business community” in the hope of improving a sometimes strained relationship.


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