Progressives to Froman: Release big bank communications

Greg Nash
Progressive groups are pressing the Obama administration to release all communication between the U.S. trade ambassador and big banks.
Ten progressive groups, including Civic Action and Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, sent a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on Thursday calling on him to disclose “all records of communication between yourself and representatives of the ten largest financial institutions” during his tenure.

Coalition Letter to Michael Froman (1)

They criticized Froman for his time as a senior executive at Citigroup, a financial institution Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has frequently criticized for being too influential in government.
{mosads}Warren and progressives are vehemently opposing President Obama’s effort to get “fast-track” authority that would boost his powers in negotiating trade deals, such as the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
“President Obama, [Treasury] Secretary [Jack] Lew, and Ambassador Froman have been very clear, on repeated occasions, in public and in private, that this administration will do nothing that puts at risk the Wall Street reforms the President fought for and signed into law,” USTR spokesman Matthew McAlvanah told The Hill.
McAlvanah said that “the notion that the Obama Administration is seeking to undo its own legacy accomplishment defies reality and common sense.”
Warren has argued the trade deals unfairly benefit large financial corporations, tilting the playing field in their favor. 
Obama has vehemently refuted her allegations, arguing the deal will strengthen the U.S. economy and the global marketplace with more stringent environmental and worker protections.
But the letter is a clear sign progressive groups are still following Warren despite the tense exchanges between Obama and Warren in recent weeks on trade.
The groups argued Froman should release the emails with big banks if he’s “looking to build trust in the administration’s position on this issue.”
Other groups that signed the letter include Communications Workers of America; CREDO Action; Daily Kos; Demand Progress; Friends of the Earth; National People’s Action; Rootstrikers; and The Other 98%.
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