Mitt’s economic director lobbied against China currency legislation

Former Wall Street lobbyist fought against the very thing Romney has pledged

Topics: Pierce Scranton, Election 2012, JP Morgan Chase, China, Republican Party, Mitt Romney, Currency, ,

Mitt Romney has pledged that if elected president, he will sign an executive order declaring China a currency manipulator. Think Progress suggested Thursday, however, that this might sit ill with one of his campaign’s recent employees.

With the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street still spinning behind him, Pierce Scranton became Romney’s economic policy director in August, having worked as a top lobbyist for JPMorgan Chase. (He is listed as JPMorgan’s executive director of the bank’s lobbying department on public federal documents filed in 2012.) Think Progress reported that “While Scranton oversaw JP Morgan’s lobbying, the bank also lobbied against legislation meant to address Chinese trade and currency manipulation. JP Morgan and other banks and financial services companies lobbied against the bill.” Scranton fought the very legislation Romney would crystallize in an executive order.



Of course, it’s unproblematic that Scranton might have lobbied for one thing on behalf of former company, JPMorgan, and could push for counterposed legislation under his new employer, Romney. Viewed generously, Scranton’s previous lobbying over Chinese currency control serves as a rare example in highlighting where Romney’s position on something opposes that of major Wall Street banks. But his position in the Romney campaign also could raise questions about whether Romney’s China pledge is a bluff. But, of course, when a revolving door spins so fast, it’s hard to see what’s really going on.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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