Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.
Stefan Selig, a Bank of America investment banker nominated to become the Under Secretary for International Trade
at the Department of Commerce, received
more than $9 million in bonus pay
as he was nominated to join the administration in November. The bonus pay came in addition to the $5.1 million in incentive pay awarded to Selig last year.
, the current U.S. Trade
Representative, received over $4 million
as part of multiple exit payments when he left CitiGroup to join the Obama
administration. Froman told Senate Finance Committee members last summer that he donated approximately 75 percent of the $2.25 million bonus he received
for his work in 2008 to charity. CitiGroup also gave Froman a $2 million payment in connection
to his holdings
in two investment funds, which was awarded
“in recognition of [Froman’s] service to Citi in various capacities since 1999.”
Many large corporations with a strong incentive to influence public policy award bonuses
and other incentive pay to executives if they take jobs
within the government. CitiGroup, for instance, provides an executive contract
that awards additional retirement pay upon leaving to take a “full time high level position with the U.S. government or regulatory body.” Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Fannie Mae, Northern Trust, and Northrop Grumman are among the other firms
that offer financial rewards upon retirement for government service.
Froman joined the administration in 2009. Selig is currently awaiting Senate confirmation before he can take his post, which collaborates
with the trade officials
to support the TPP
The controversial TPP trade
deal has rankled activists for containing provisions that would newly empower corporations to sue governments
in ad hoc arbitration tribunals to demand compensation from governments for laws and regulations they claim undermine their business interests. Leaked TPP
negotiation documents show
administration is seeking to prevent foreign governments from issuing a broad variety of financial rules designed to stem another bank crisis.
A leaked text of the TPP
’s investment chapter shows that the pact would include the controversial investor-state dispute resolution system. A fact-sheet provided
by Public Citizen explains how multi-national corporations may use the TPP
deal to skirt domestic courts and local laws. The arrangement would allow corporations to go after governments before foreign tribunals to demand compensations for tobacco, prescription drug and environment protections that they claim would undermine their expected future profits. Last year, Senator Elizabeth Warren warned
agreements such as the TPP
provide “a chance for these banks
to get something done quietly out of sight that they could not accomplish in a public place with the cameras rolling and the lights on.”
have raised similar alarm.
“Not only do US treaties mandate that all forms of finance move across borders freely and without delay, but deals such as the TPP
would allow private investors to directly file claims against governments that regulate them, as opposed to a WTO-like system where nation states (ie the regulators) decide whether claims are brought,” notes
Boston University associate professor Kevin Gallagher.
– ### –
For detailed information on the broken promises of trade legislation, click here.