WASHINGTON — Michael Froman, President Obama’s nominee for the U.S. Trade Representative’s post, overcame controversy about funds he has in offshore accounts when the Senate Finance Committee approved his nomination on Tuesday and sent it to the full Senate for a vote.
On Monday, the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee unanimously approved another of Obama’s cabinet nominees, Penny Pritzker, to become Commerce Secretary.
The Senate Finance panel unanimously approved Froman’s nomination on a voice vote, despite a controversy over nearly $500,000 he reportedly has in an offshore account in the Cayman Islands, which sparked some criticism from Republicans last week because it symbolically represents a tax loophole that Obama has said he wants to close.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa) accused Obama of being a hypocrite for nominating Froman after the President “railed against fat cats who avoid taxes offshore.” Grassley had also criticized Pritzker for offshore investments.
Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) defended Froman’s record at his confirmation hearing Thursday.
“Mike Froman is the right person for this job,” Baucus said. “For the past four years, he has demonstrated a mastery of trade policy development and implementation. President Obama has outlined an ambitious trade agenda, one that requires a strong trade representative like Mr. Froman, who can hit the ground running. The time is ripe. The United States has an opportunity to share in the rapid growth of the Pacific region and unlock further economic gains from our already deep ties with Europe.”
Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs at the White House, has played a key role in Obama’s trade agenda over the past few years, often working alongside former USTR Ron Kirk, who stepped down in February.
If confirmed by the full Senate, Froman would lead Obama’s trade negotiations and act as the chief enforcer of trade agreements. Among his top priorities will be taking over the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the U.S. and 11 other nations and launching Trans-Atlantic negotiations with the European Union.
One of Pritzker’s top priorities at the helm of Commerce, if confirmed by the Senate, will be continuing and promoting the implementation of Obama’s National Export Initiative, which seeks to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014. The NEI has helped spur interest in a Made in America movement in the apparel and textile sector.
In other news, The U.S. Department of Commerce is creating the first “Select USA Investment Summit” in Washington on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. Francisco Sánchez, undersecretary of commerce for international trade, gave the first word on the summit Tuesday at the “Think Asia, Think Hong Kong” symposium at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, telling the hundreds in attendance that the summit is meant to “encourage foreign and domestic business investment in the United States and connect them with economic development organizations across the country to support business investment in the U.S.,” which leads to job creation and growth in the country. “Attendees will learn what the United States has to offer and why it’s a great place to do business and meet the people that can help make those investments happen,” Sánchez said.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)