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Revolving Door In Office Of U.S. Trade Representative, Part 1

Above Photo: Day 60 of Occupy Wall Street in New York City, NY on November 15, 2011. Photo credit: David Shankbone.

“… [T]he Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could make it harder for Congress and regulatory agencies to prevent future financial crises. With millions of families still struggling to recover from the last financial crisis and the Great Recession that followed, we cannot afford a trade deal that undermines the government’s ability to protect the American economy.” — Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Ed Markey, letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, December 17, 2014.[1]

The Obama White House and the Republican leadership in Congress are pushing hard for three massive and environmentally- destructive[2] trade agreements: the Trans Pacific Partnership[3], the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership[4] and the Trade in Services Agreement[5]. These three agreements and similar deals going back to the North American Free Trade Agreement reflect the philosophy and culture of the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, which assume that many forms of regulation by democratic institutions inhibit global economic growth.[6]

This is not surprising, given that the U.S. Trade Representative and members of his senior staff frequently rotate through the revolving door to and from positions in Wall Street banks[7], multinational law firms[8], corporate lobby shops, political campaign fundraising operations and the executive suites of global corporations[9]. The agency conducts little independent policy analysis, and is dependent on lobbyists for information[10].

It is no wonder that public opinion data show that, beyond the Capitol Beltway, people believe our current trade policies are imbalanced.[11]

The Wall Street revolving door and the U.S. Trade Representatives

Take the case of Ambassador Michael Froman[12], the current U.S. Trade Representative. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called Froman someone with whom they are quite comfortable[13]. The American Chemistry Council representing manufacturers and exporters of products associated with a range of health and environmental problems has applauded him[14]. Wall Street banks are especially close to Froman[15].

This is not surprising. Ambassador Froman, a former Citigroup executive[16] and bundler of Wall Street and other contributions to the 2008 Obama presidential campaign[17], has been through the revolving door between Wall Street and government service repeatedly[18]. He is a man who, by background and mindset, responds to financiers and corporate chieftains rather than the woman or man on the street[19].

In the Clinton Administration, Froman served as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin (and former head of Goldman Sachs) where they pushed legislation to deregulate the financial services industry: a root cause of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession[20].

At the end of the Clinton Administration, Froman followed Rubin to Citicorp[21] where they engaged in alleged casino gambling investments that broke Citi[22] when the house of cards tumbled. U.S. taxpayers had to spend billions to bail out Citi and other Wall Street institutions[23].

But, Froman did not go to jail or lose his shirt but rather pocketed millions in compensation at Citi. He was then given a reported $4 million bonus[24], aka Golden Parachute, by Citi to join the Obama Administration[25] first on the White House staff proper and now as U.S. Trade Representative — where he is pushing for the TPP, TTIP and TiSA agreements that would deregulate financial services[26] even more and put a brake on environmental and other public interest safeguards.

Froman acts to protect Wall Street

TPP. So, how in particular has Froman acted to protect Wall Street in the investment and services chapters of the TPP and similar deals?[27] Public Citizen sums it up: “The TPP’s Financial Services chapter ‘reads in’ Investment Chapter provisions that would grant multinational banks and other foreign financial service firms expansive new substantive and procedural rights and privileges not available to U.S. firms under domestic law to attack our financial stability measures.”… “the TPP would grant foreign firms new rights to attack U.S. financial regulatory policies in extrajudicial investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals…”[28]

According to U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin and Ed Markey “Past trade deals have included terms that allowed foreign firms to use the investor-state dispute settlement process to challenge a wide range of government financial policy decisions.” They conclude that, “the TPP should not include an investor-state dispute resolution process…The consequence would be to strip our regulators of the tools they need to prevent the next [financial] crisis.”[29]

Open-ended definitions of discriminatory government financial regulations. For example, so –called “too big too fail” regulations to limit the size or restrict the activities of banks because their failure would threaten the whole economy, could be challenged … on the grounds that they deny a foreign investor’s right under the TPP “to fair and equitable treatment,”[30] a largely undefined element of the TPP’s “minimum standard of treatment” article obligation that allows pro-Wall Street investment tribunals to assess money damages of unlimited size in compensation for application of common-sense financial regulations[31]. This is illustrated by the case ofSaluka Investments v Czech Republic, brought under provisions of a bilateral investment treaty very similar to the TPP investment chapter[32]. More such cases can be expected if the TPP is approved by Congress.

Restrictions on capital control regulations. The TPP investment chapter also sharply restricts regulation of capital flows intended to promote financial stability.[33] “A new “temporary safeguard” provision[34] that might appear to a lay person to protect government authority, in fact, as Public Citizen observes, “would not adequately protect governments’ ability to regulate speculative, destabilizing capital flows. The safeguard is subject to a litany of constraining conditions…”[35]

Sarah Anderson, at the Institute for Policy Studies, says such capital control provisions in international trade and investment agreements put governments in policy handcuffs when so called “hot money” flees a country during a financial crisis[36]. Such panicked capital flight was a major cause of the disastrous Asian financial crisis of 1997. Fauwaz Adbul Aziz, at Third World Network , reports that, “ More than 100 prominent economists from the Asia Pacific region have urged negotiators of the…Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement…talks to ensure that the eventual document their governments sign on to does not preclude, or impose sanctions against, the use of capital controls.”[37] But, these calls went largely unheeded, as Wall Street flexed its political muscle.

Restrictions on regulation of risky new financial products. The 2008 financial crisis was caused in significant part by the introduction of new, risky and little understood financial products like toxic derivatives, collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps[38]. But, the complex language of the TPP financial services chapter might well be read to require governments to allow foreign firms to sell new financial products and services, if they are allowed in other TPP countries[39]. Public Citizen reads this language to say that, “…the TPP’s financial services chapter would require each signatory government to allow foreign-owned firms to sell in their territory any new financial products and services that do not exist on the domestic market, but do exist in any of the other 11 TPP countries.”[40]

The list of potential giveaways to Wall Street in the final text of the TPP goes on.[41]

TTIP. Froman is also carrying water for his Wall Street buddies and CEOs of global corporations in negotiations on the U.S. — Europe trade deal. The TTIP chapter on regulatory cooperation would weaken regulation of the financial services industry. Regulatory review provisions in the TTIP deal would encourage business-friendly, cost-benefit analysis that would hamstring financial and other public interest regulations. It would also allow trade bureaucrats and industry representatives to screen proposed regulations and also contemplates mutual recognition and harmonization of regulations between the EU and the U.S. that could effectively reduce standards to the lowest common denominator.[42]

Froman has also taken a hard negotiating line on TTIP services provisions of critical importance to Wall Street, calling for much broader coverage than that provided by the General Agreement on Trade in Service administered by the World Trade Organization.[43]

Ambassador Froman and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew claim that they will not allow the TTIP to gut the relatively mild Dodd-Frank reforms of Wall Street practices. Lew has frankly admitted that, “Normally in a trade agreement, the pressure is to lower standards on things like that.”[44] So, given that TTIP negotiations are almost certain to carry over to the next presidential administration, what would a President Trump or even Clinton do? This not an idle question given that EU negotiators appear to be pushing for a dilution of Dodd- Frank and similar standards — at the behest of the investment bankers in “The City of London,”[45] by some measures the world’s biggest financial center[46] and one known for its risk-taking culture.[47]

TiSA. Michael Froman’s actions in the secretive negotiations for the massive Trade in Services Agreement clearly expose his working relations with Wall Street and his former employer, Citigroup. This is a textbook case of the policy consequences of the revolving door.

The TiSA deal[48] being negotiated in Geneva by the United States, 23 other countries and the EU, flies in the face of the international consensus after the 2008 financial crisis that deregulation of financial services was a primary cause of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. As a result of the crisis, financial reforms were adopted in the United States and around the world. But as leaked documents published and analyzed by WikiLeaks demonstrate, “TISA does not support these reforms but continues to ‘discipline’ and restrict how legislators, regulators and supervisors can regulate the financial sector.”[49]

Wesleyan students protesting unfair Citibank employment policies in Delaware, Ohio on November 16, 2001. Photo credit: Maccarton.
Wesleyan students protesting unfair Citibank employment policies in Delaware, Ohio on November 16, 2001. Photo credit: Maccarton.

TiSA is designed for and in close consultation with the global finance industry. In particular, Froman’s old firm, Citigroup is leading the charge for TiSA and financial services deregulation. The Chairman of the Board of a powerful trade lobby, the US Coalition of Service Industries[50] is the Vice Chairman of the Institutional Clients Group at Citi. Citi is also a leader of Team TiSA,” a broader business coalition, including not only global services industries, but also big manufacturing firms and big agriculture interests. “Team TiSA,” is co-chaired by Citigroup and coordinates its lobbying activities with Ambassador Froman, who stated in a speech to the Coalition of Service Industries that, “We need to move forward together with a Trade in Services Agreement that unlocks opportunity for Americans, and with Team TiSA behind us, I’m confident that we are on the right track.”[51]

It’s time to slam the revolving door shut

The trade policymaking in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is biased. As David Dayan has written in the American Prospect, “Michael Froman, former Citigroup executive…, runs USTR, and his actions have lived up to the agency’s legacy as the white-shoe law firm for multinational corporations.”[52]

It’s time for institutional reform of USTR and an end to the revolving door.[53] A tough new ethics code must be put in place. Also, like the State Department, the USTR should be primarily staffed by government professionals who plan to spend their whole careers in public service.

Reform of USTR must also address its single-minded export promotion culture[54] and clearly mandate that the agency give equal weight to protecting domestic laws and regulations and protecting the environment, consumers and the public interest more generally. USTR must be charged with protecting the authority of our democratic institutions, as well as opening foreign markets to U.S. goods and services.

The secrecy of trade negotiations must end. Trade deals like the TPP are negotiated behind closed doors with input from official advisors, most of whom represent global corporations.[55] This facilitates special interest capture of the U.S. negotiating agenda. Moreover, USTR is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act and functionally exempt from the bulk of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.”[56] Congress should explicitly require that USTR end the secrecy and release the draft text of U.S. proposals after each round of negotiations, as was the practice in the George W. Bush administration, abide by the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and end the corporate capture of the USTR advisory committee process.[57]

Reorganization of trade policymaking in the executive branch is equally essential. The centralization of power in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative must be unwound.[58] The Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor and Department of Justice must be given more powerful roles in trade policymaking. Above all, USTR must be evicted from the White House.[59]

Most important of all, it is time to slam shut the revolving door between Wall Street and the White House. Michael Froman is not the only U.S. Trade Representative or senior USTR official who has been through the revolving door. His immediate predecessor Ron Kirk and many others preceded him. And, many others will follow him unless there is institutional reform of the USTR office.

Why does the revolving door matter?

Senator Elizabeth Warren asks and answers, “Because it means that too much of the time, the wind blows from the same direction. Time after time in government, the Wall Street view prevails, and time after time, conflicting views are crowded out.”[60]


[1] Letter of December 17, 2014, to Ambassador Michael Froman, from U.S, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Baldwin, and Ed Markey,

[2] “The trade ministers get together to set the rules of trade. They don’t worry about the environment; that’s somebody else’s agenda. Trade above all — that’s the way they approach it. And as a result of that, we get a trade agenda that puts environmental and other concerns below.” — Joseph Stiglitz, winner of the Nobel Prize, Economics, 2001, interview PBS The Ascent of Money,

[3] Bill Waren, President Obama dodges Pacific trade deal threat to the environment, Friends of the Earth, January 2116,

[4] Friends of the Earth, U.S., Greenpeace Netherlands releases explosive documents on just concluded U.S.-Europe trade talks, News Release, May. 2, 2016,

[5] Bill Waren, Senior Trade Analyst, Friends of the Earth, The Trade in Services Agreement is an environmental hazard: An assessment of the environmental impact of the leaked Annex on Environmental Services in the context of TiSA as a whole, WikiLeaks, December 3, 2015,

[6] The talented and often Ivy League educated USTR leadership and staff have for decades shared common values regarding its mission and methods of operating. USTR’s values are those of “neo-liberalism” of the kind popularized by Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Bill Clinton’s Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin. It is an almost religious faith in the efficiency of lightly regulated markets that too-often turns a blind eye to social and environmental costs that may not be easily calculated in dollars and cents. USTR sees its mission as export promotion, often without sufficient deference to democratic institutions or sufficient appreciation of the cost of job losses and increased income inequality. Multinational corporations and financial institutions are treated as favored clients. And, the office is notorious for operating in secrecy and for effectively employing hardball political and lobbying tactics. See generally,Stavros D. Manvroudeas, Demophanes Papadatos, Neo-Liberalism and the Washington Consensus, University of Macedonia, February 14, 2015,; Specifically with respect to job losses, see Joseph Stiglitz, Why TPP Is a Bad Deal for America and American Workers, Public Citizen, Global Trade Watch, May 26, 2016,

[7] “The USTR/Wall Street Revolving Door: Michael Froman is the prime example of the Wall Street/USTR revolving door. Froman served as Chief of Staff to Robert Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary. In 1999, Froman followed Rubin to Citigroup — the third largest U.S. bank with assets of $1.9 trillion. Froman — while still an employee of Citigroup — was on the Obama transition team that selected Timothy Geithner to be Obama’s first Treasury Secretary. Froman then received over $4 million in various exit payments when he left Citigroup to join the administration as U.S. Trade Representative. Citigroup — like many other large corporations — provides additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Mickey Kantor is another example of the Wall Street/USTR revolving door. When he retired as U.S. Trade Representative Kantor joined the law firm of Mayer Brown many of whose “largest clients are bank holding companies, commercial banks, investment banks, insurance companies….” Communications Workers of America, The Trans Pacific Partnership: Good for Wall Street/ Bad for Main Street,

[8] Michael Beckel, Financial Sector Helps Barack Obama Score Big Money for Re-election Fight, Center for Responsive Politics, Open Secrets, July 22, 2011,; Dan Eggen, Obama campaign attracts Wall Street money, despite tensions, Washington Post, July 22, 2011,; RickyKreitner, Wall Street Responsible For One-Third Of Obama’s Campaign Funds, Business Insider, July 22, 2011,; Richard Eskow, For Services Rendered? Wall Street’s Big Paydays For Trade Negotiators, Campaign for America’s Future, February 27, 2014,

[9] Mike Masnick, USTR Nominee Froman Called ‘One Of The Most Egregious Examples Of The Way The Revolving Door Works Between Gov’t And Business, TechDirt. May 6, 2013,

[10] “But the advisory committees are heavily dominated by corporate interests and their related trade associations. Of the 566 committee members, 306 come from private industry and an additional 174 hail from trade associations. All told they represent 85% of the voices on the trade committees. They attend private meetings with administration officials and get access to documents that the public cannot see.” Christopher Ingraham, “How companies wield off the record influence on the Obama trade policy, Washington Post Wonkblog, February28,2014 policy,”

[11] Public Citizen, U.S. Polling Shows Strong Opposition to More of the Same U.S. Trade Deals from Independents, Republicans and Democrats Alike, July 2015, available here. Public Affairs, Americans Concerned about Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement November 20, 2015,

[12] AllGov, United States Trade Representative: Who Is Michael Froman?, May 19, 2013,

[13] Richard McGregor, James Politi, Michael Froman faces tough scrutiny on big U.S. trade deals, Financial Times, June 5, 2013,

[14] ACC Applauds Nomination of Michael Froman to USTR, May 2, 2013,

[15] “Froman’s sympathy for the interests of Wall Street is suggested by a Wikileaks release, in July 2014, of secret negotiating text on financial services in the Trade in Service Agreement. The leaked draft of the TiSA financial services provisions foreshadow provisions to undercut financial regulations within TTIP; the provisions would constrain safeguards of the kind that were put in place after the 2007 financial crisis, resulting from the reckless speculation of Citi and other financial services giants.” Friends of the Earth, News Release, Exposed: U.S.-EU trade talks and corporate Global Services Summit reveal corporate capture of trade policy, Sep. 30, 2014,

[16] Friends of the Earth, News Release, Exposed: U.S.-EU trade talks and corporate Global Services Summit reveal corporate capture of trade policy, Sep. 30, 2014,

[17] “During the campaign, Froman had emerged as one of Obama’s biggest fundraisers, bundling $200,000 in contributions and introducing the candidate to a host of heavy hitters — chief among them his mentor Bob Rubin, the former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs who served as Treasury secretary under Bill Clinton. Froman had served as chief of staff to Rubin at Treasury, and had followed his boss when Rubin left the Clinton administration to serve as a senior counselor to Citigroup (a massive new financial conglomerate created by deregulatory moves pushed through by Rubin himself).”Matt, Taibbi, Obama’s Big Sellout: The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders, Rolling Stone, December 9, 2009,

[18] Froman was a classmate of President Barack Obama at Harvard Law School. They served together on the staff of the Harvard Law Review. Froman and Obama have been close friends ever since. Taibbi, Obama’s Big Sellout, The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines a “crony” as: “: a close friend of someone; especially: a friend of someone powerful (such as a politician) who is unfairly given special treatment or favors.”,

[19] “Furthermore, stated Michelle Chan, director of Economic Policy at Friends of the Earth: ‘If the Obama administration gets Fast Track, it would delegate Congress’s constitutional authority to a U.S. Trade Representative who, by background and mindset, responds to Wall Street rather than ordinary people.”Deirdre Fulton, Is US Trade Rep a Wall Street Crony? Groups Demand Transparency. (Public interest watchdogs say Americans deserve to know what US top trade negotiator Michael Froman ‘has been privately saying to big banks), Common Dreams, May 28, 2015,

[20] Sewell Chan, Financial Crisis Was Avoidable, Inquiry Finds, New York Times, January 25, 2011,

[21] Marita Noon, Wall Street Walks on the White House, Townhall Finance, February 24, 2013,

[22] Senator Elizabeth Warren, The Citigroup Clique: Why is Obama appointing so many former employees of one Wall St. bank?” Politico Magazine, April 29, 2014,

[23] Matt, Taibbi, Obama’s Big Sellout: The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders, Rolling Stone, December 9, 2009,; Taibbi’s story was controversial, but Felix Salmon at Rueters sorts it out. Felix Salmon, Fernholz vs Taibbi.Rueters, December 11, 2009,

[24] Michael Froman Personal Financial Report,

[25] “U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman received over $4 million in multiple exit payments from Citigroup when he left for the Obama Administration.”David Dayan, Wall Street Pays Bankers to Work in Government and It Doesn’t Want Anyone to Know, The New Republic, February 4, 2015,

[26] Letter from Friends of the Earth and 9 other groups to Michael Froman, USTR, May 28, 2015,

[27] “A coalition of watchdog and advocacy groups on Thursday called on U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman to release his communications with banking industry leaders in order to quell fears that massive trade accords could be used to chip away at crucial regulations covering financial services. The Communications Workers of America, Friends of the Earth, Public Citizen and seven other groups sent a letter to Froman demanding to see all of his correspondence with the 10 largest financial services institutions since he assumed his post….”Alex Lawson Trade Skeptics Want To See USTR’s Banking Correspondence, May 29, 2015,

[28] Public Citizen, TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought. First U.S. Pact Negotiated Since Global Financial Crisis Fails to Remedy Past Pacts’ Deregulatory Terms and Grants Firms New Rights to Challenge Financial Policies, November 2015,

[29] Bill Waren, Friends of the Earth, “Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Trade deal must not undercut Wall Street reforms,” December 29, 2014,

[30] Rudolf Dolzer, Fair and Equitable Treatment: Today’s Contours, 12 Santa Clara Journal of International Law 7 (2014),

[31] Matthew Porterfield, An International Common Law of Investor Rights? Volume27, University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law, pp. 79–113 (2006),

[32] See Saluka Investments BV v. The Czech Republic, UNCITRAL, Award (Mar. 17, 2006),; “Financial bailout measures, or future preventative measures that create “too big too fail” regulations, could be challenged …on the grounds that they deny a foreign investor’s right to fair and equitable treatment and a minimum standard of treatment. Indeed, a Dutch subsidiary of a Japanese bank recently argued that the Czech Republic had violated its rights by extending its bailout program only to “too big to fail” Czech banks, excluding a small bank in which the Dutch subsidiary had invested.”Kevin P. Gallagher, U.S. BITs and financial stability, Perspectives on topical foreign direct investment issues, Vale Columbia Center on Sustainable International Investment, No. 19, February 23, 2010,

[33] Final text Trans Pacific Partnership, Investment Chapter, Article 9.8: Transfers, “Each Party shall permit all transfers relating to a covered investment to be made freely and without delay into and out of its territory.”,

[34] Final text Trans Pacific Partnership, Investment Chapter, Exceptions, Article 29.3: Temporary Safeguard Measures,

[35] Public Citizen, TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought. First U.S. Pact Negotiated Since Global Financial Crisis Fails to Remedy Past Pacts’ Deregulatory Terms and Grants Firms New Rights to Challenge Financial Policies, November 2015,

[36] Sarah Anderson, Policy Handcuffs in the Financial Crisis, Institute for Policy Studies,

[37] Fauwaz Adbul Aziz, Economists call for capital controls in US-led trade pact, Third World Network, March 29, 2012,

[38] According to the Staff Report of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, United States Senate, Wall Street and The Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse, April 13, 2011:“The investigation found that the crisis was not a natural disaster, but the result of high risk, complex financial products; undisclosed conflicts of interest; and the failure of regulators, the credit rating agencies, and the market itself to rein in the excesses of Wall Street. “p. 1“…[I]n the years leading up to the financial crisis, large investment banks designed and promoted complex financial instruments, often referred to as structured finance products, that were at the heart of the crisis. They included RMBS and CDO securities, credit default swaps (CDS), and CDS contracts linked to the ABX Index. These complex, high risk financial products were engineered, sold, and traded by the major U.S. investment banks.” p. 8,

[39] Article 11.7 of the TPP Financial Services Chapter provides that: “: New Financial Services[7]Each Party shall permit a financial institution of another Party to supply a new financial service that the Party would permit its own financial institutions, in like circumstances, to supply without adopting a law or modifying an existing law.[8] Notwithstanding Article 11.5(b) (Market Access for Financial Institutions), a Party may determine the institutional and juridical form through which the new financial service may be supplied and may require authorisation for the supply of the service. If a Party requires a financial institution to obtain authorisation to supply a new financial service, the Party shall decide within a reasonable period of time whether to issue the authorisation and may refuse the authorisation only for prudential reasons. [7] The Parties understand that nothing in this Article prevents a financial institution of a Party from applying to another Party to request that it authorise the supply of a financial service that is not supplied in the territory of any Party. That application shall be subject to the law of the Party to which the application is made and, for greater certainty, shall not be subject to this Article. [8] For greater certainty, a Party may issue a new regulation or other subordinate measure in permitting the supply of the new financial service,”

[40] See generally, Public Citizen, TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought. First U.S. Pact Negotiated Since Global Financial Crisis Fails to Remedy Past Pacts’ Deregulatory Terms and Grants Firms New Rights to Challenge Financial Policies, November 2015,

[41] Public Citizen, TPP Financial Stability Threats Unveiled: It’s Worse than We Thought. First U.S. Pact Negotiated Since Global Financial Crisis Fails to Remedy Past Pacts’ Deregulatory Terms and Grants Firms New Rights to Challenge Financial Policies, November 2015,

[42] Robert Weissman, Leaked TTIP Documents: Threats to Regulatory Protections, Public Citizen, May 02, 2016,; Corporate Observatory Europe, Leaked document shows EU is going for a trade deal that will weaken financial regulation, July 1, 2014, (“According to a leaked document, the EU is bent on using the TTIP negotiations with the US to get an agreement on financial regulation that… will weaken reform and control of the financial sector.”),

[43] Michael Froman speaking in Berlin:“ We’re preparing a robust offer on the services sector as well — one based on a negative list, meaning that everything is open unless explicitly excluded. We look forward to seeing the same level of ambition from our European counterparts as well.” The United States, Germany and TTIP: Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, May 5, 2014,,did=638962.html; Translated from the legalese, Froman’s call for a negative list approach means that the “default position” is that all government measures in all economic sectors are covered under TTIP (such as non-discrimination, for example), unless a specific reservation is listed for a specific sector (water transport, for example) or government measure (Maryland’s regulation of toxic chemicals in toys, for example). By contrast, under a positive list approach, such as that used under the WTO services agreement (GATS), specific economic sectors or government measures are voluntarily listed on a national schedule. (See generally, Organization of American States, Foreign Trade Information System, Dictionary of Trade Terms, 2013, The positive list approach should be used in TTIP services chapter. Only a positive list of commitments provides reasonable certainty about which green policies are covered and which are not. It also provides far more policy space for the adoption of new measures and amendments to existing environmental policies. Finally, it is just more practical: it is a monumental task to list every measure conceivably subject to inappropriate trade agreement litigation on a negative list.

[44] “Treasury Secretary Jack Lew frankly admitted in late 2013 “Normally in a trade agreement, the pressure is to lower standards on things like that and that’s something that we just think is not acceptable.”That’s comforting, but also a frank admission that TTIP could indeed weaken financial regulations.” George Zornick, Could Fast Track Ultimately Destroy Dodd-Frank? (Yes.): The White House has been going hard against Elizabeth Warren for making this claim — but she’s right. The Nation, May 12, 2015,

[45] “Another example of the formidable alliance between EU negotiators and the corporate sector is the enthusiasm in the financial lobby community for the EU’s approach on financial regulation in TTIP. When the EU’s position on the issue was leaked in early 2014, Richard Normington, Senior Manager of the Policy and Public Affairs team at TheCityUK — a key British financial lobby group –applauded the Commission’s proposals, because it “reflected so closely the approach of TheCityUK that a bystander would have thought it came straight out of our brochure on TTIP”. Corporate Europe Observatory, TTIP: a corporate lobbying paradise, JULY 14, 2015,

[46] RTE News, London beats New York to top financial hub ranking, September, 23 2015,

[47] Linda McDowell, “Capital Culture Revisited: Sex, Testosterone and the City,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Volume 34, Issue 3, pages 652–658, September 2010,

[48] Deborah James, Just Before Round of Negotiations on the Proposed TiSA, WikiLeaks Releases Updated Secret Documents, July 2, 2015, Center for Economic and Policy Research,

[49] Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) Financial Services Annex (February 2015),WikiLeaks release: June 3, 2015,; WikiLeaks, Analysis of the draft TISA Annex on Financial Services, 23 February, 23 2015,

[50] The Coalition of Service Industries is a lobby group representing major international corporations active in the U.S. service economy, including banking, insurance, telecommunications, information technology, express delivery, audiovisual, and energy services. Bloomberg, Profiles,

[51] Remarks by Ambassador Michael Froman at the Coalition of Services Industries on the Trade in Services Agreement, Washington. D.C., June 18, 2014, Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Resource Center,

[52] David Dayen, Fast Track to the Corporate Wish List: The Trans-Pacific Partnership displays a deep rift in the Democratic Party. The American Prospect, Summer 2015, He goes on to note that: “Michael Froman’s USTR tenure represents the apotheosis of this tendency. The assistant trade representative for agricultural affairs, Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, previously lobbied for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). Christopher Wilson also represented BIO as part of the trade consulting group C&M International, before becoming the U.S. deputy chief of mission to the WTO. Deputy Trade Representative Robert Holleyman worked for the Business Software Alliance, representing Microsoft, Apple, and IBM, among others. Froman himself came to USTR from Citigroup, the nation’s largest bailout recipient, where he ran an Alternative Investments division that managed $49 billion in capital. The nominee for U.S. permanent representative to the WTO, Marisa Lago, also came from Citigroup.”

[53] Friends of the Earth , Public Citizen and 26 other groups have called for slowing the revolving door between Wall Street and the Federal Government, See, Groups Urge Obama Administration to Slow Revolving Door Between Wall Street and Federal Government, press release, October 22, 2015,;See generally, Jack Maskell Post-Employment, “Revolving Door,” Laws for Federal Personnel, Congressional Research Service, May 12, 2010,

[54] “A more subtle factor is the structure and culture of USTR itself. In its role as a promoter of global trade, USTR has always worked closely with U.S. exporters. That exporter-focused culture …becomes problematic on issues like copyright and patent law where exporters’ interests may run directly counter to those of American consumers.” Timothy B. Lee, Here’s why Obama trade negotiators push the interests of Hollywood and drug companies, Washington Post, November 26, 2013,

[55] Christopher Ingraham, “How companies wield off the record influence on the Obama trade policy, Washington Post Wonkblog, February28,2014 policy,”

[56] “Moreover, USTR is exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act and functionally exempt from the bulk of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.” See, Margot E Kaminski, The Capture of International Intellectual Property Law through the U.S. Trade Regime (June 10, 2014). Southern California Law Review, 2014 Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

[57] Fast Track or Trade Promotion Authority legislation also must be reformed top to bottom to restore Congress’ constitutional authority to make trade policy. This so-called Fast Track process was originally Richard Nixon’s idea — part of his scheme for an Imperial Presidency. The recently approved Fast Track or trade promotion authority legislation centralizes power in the White House — effectively undermining the constitutional powers of Congress. Congress ends up with only the authority to take a quick up or down vote on trade deals that it does not have time to study or understand. This was not the intent of the Founders of the U.S. Constitution.

[58] The Office of Special Trade Representative was established in White House by the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, taking some authority from U.S. Department of State and giving it to a Special Trade Representative (STR) in the White House. The Trade Act of 1974 provided a legislative charter for a U.S. Trade Representative as part of the Executive Office of the President and elevating the office to cabinet level status. In 1979 the authority of the USTR was substantially expanded by executive order. The Trade and Tariff Act of 1984 expanded USTR’s authority to develop and implement policy related to trade in services. The Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 gave USTR authority over all World Trade Organization negotiations. The ratification of NAFTA in 1993 similarly expanded the authority of the Trade Czar and his staff.

[59] Past proposals by the Obama and Reagan administrations to reorganize and to some degree check the overweening power of the U.S. Trade Representative by shifting it out of the White House were rejected in the face of opposition from the international corporate community and congressional committees of jurisdiction.

[60] Jon Prior, Warren: Put a lock on Wall Street’s revolving door, Politico, December 9, 2014,

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