WASHINGTON – Adewale Adeyemo, International Economic Adviser to President Barack Obama, speaking at a think tank in Washington in the summer of 2016, warned of the dangers of protectionism, explained whether China’s growing economy is good for the world and discussed a trans-Pacific trade partnership. agreement in which it facilitated negotiations that the Democrats eventually rejected.
Four years later, this conversation may sound untouched by a democratic party that has become even more spooky in China and is increasingly reluctant to spread international trade agreements. But that didn’t bother the president-elect, Joseph R. Biden Jr., who tapped Adeyemo this week as deputy finance minister, consolidating his team with another Obama administration staff member who overwhelmed the center-left’s economic ideals, deep experience and diversity. .In Biden’s top ranks.
Like many of Mr. Biden’s employees so far, Mr. Adeyemo, who is alongside Wally, is creating a general political perspective whose background breaks down obstacles. Mr. Adeyemo would be part of a historian duo at the Treasury: she would be the Treasury’s first black deputy, along with the first female secretary, Janet L. Yellen.
And like some of Mr. Biden’s selections, Adeyemo’s selection can be seen from the left because of the work of the private sector. In 2017, after the Trump government took power, Mr. Adeyemo joined BlackRock, the world’s largest trustee, as senior advisor and interim chief of staff to Larry Fink. Last year, he left the president of the Obama Foundation, where he directed day-to-day operations and implemented its strategic plan.
If confirmed, Mr. Adeyemo will rise to 2nd place in the Treasury from a humble beginning. Born in Nigeria, Mr. Adeyemo emigrated to the United States with his parents when he was still an infant and settled near Los Angeles, Southern California. His father was a teacher and his mother a nurse. Mr. Adeyemo, 39, and his brother and sister grew up in one of the rooms in a two-bedroom apartment.
Mr. Adeyemo went to the University of California, Berkeley, where he was president of the student union and earned a law degree from Yale. He became interested in politics, working on the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, John Edwards and Obama.
Adeyemo joined the Treasury Department in 2009, serving as Executive Secretary to Secretary Timothy F. Geithner. Just over a year later, he was sent to the Office of Consumer Financial Protection to help make the new agency work. There, he worked as the chief of staff to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who came up with the idea for the consumer office and was chosen by Mr. Obama to oversee the establishment of the agency.
The ability to switch between Mr Geithner and Mrs Warren was an early sign of Mr Adeyemo’s ability to spread the moderate and progressive wings of the Democratic Party’s political decision-making machine. At Mr. Adeyemo’s 2015 confirmatory hearing that the Treasury was the Deputy Secretary for International Markets and Developments, Ms. Warren gave a flood of praise.
“He remembers who he grew up with and tries to make him a better country every day,” said Ms. Warren, who became one of the Democratic Party’s most prominent progressors. The spokeswoman said Ms Warren would support the appointment of a deputy secretary for Mr Adeyemo.
Adeyemo eventually became deputy chief of staff of the treasury, led by Jacob J. Lew. In this role, he was immersed in many issues, including sanctions and international trade. During the negotiations on the 12-country trans-Pacific partnership, Mr Adeyemo focused on the mediation of the foreign exchange supply transaction in the foreign exchange development chapter of the agreement.
Mr. Lew recalled Mr. Adeyemo, who flew from Asia to Latin America around the world and conducted economic transfer diplomacy to mediate an agreement that would result in greater transparency and enforcement of foreign exchange policy in the deal.
“He put together an approach that, frankly, stood the test of time even though the TPP was not involved in the United States,” Mr. Lew said in an interview. “This has become the model for dealing with foreign exchange issues in future trade agreements.”
In 2015, Mr. Obama hired Adeyemo, the White House, as the international economic adviser to the National Security Council. He represented the President at the 20-person and 7-person summits and steered the international economic policy agenda among government agencies.
In soft words and thoughtfully, Mr. Adeyemo’s approach will contrast sharply with the Trump administration’s militant tone in economic diplomacy. At a 2016 event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr Adeyemo described the importance of encouraging China to liberalize its markets by doing so in its own economic interests – and in line with those of the United States.
“China’s growing economy is an economy where U.S. companies can sell goods and services,” he said. “And China’s growing economy is driving global growth.”
This multilateral approach to dealing with China could be a complication for Mr. Adeyemo at the affirmative hearing, as Republicans have become accustomed to Mr. Trump’s confrontational stance.
Mr Adeyemo’s work on BlackRock is likely to raise questions for some Democrats as advanced people have already expressed their displeasure.
Robert Kuttner, founder of The American Prospect, a progressive publication, warned this week that BlackRock could benefit if Mr. Adeyemo ranks No. 2 in the Treasury, saying it could work to prevent tighter regulatory oversight of the asset manager. .
Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, a left-leaning group that targets corporate power, suggested that BlackRock actively work on planting officials who apply within the federal government.
“BlackRock needs to be dismantled and regulated,” Mr. Stoller said. “BlackRock CEO Larry Fink knows this, so he has hacked Democrats on the ice to get into the Biden administration and make sure it doesn’t happen.”
A BlackRock spokesman did not respond to the request for comment.
An assistant to Biden’s transition team said Mr. Adeyemo, who was tasked with setting up BlackRock’s internal think tank, had no business responsibility for investments or policy decisions. The assistant said the experience deepened Mr. Adeyemo’s understanding of financial markets and the role that companies like BlackRock play in creating wealth for the middle class.
David S. Cohen, who was the Treasury’s secretariat for terrorism and financial intelligence during the Obama administration, said Mr Adeyemo’s knowledge of the treasury’s internal operations and experience in domestic politics, international economics and national security was a strong partner for Ms. Yellen, who is an academic economist and former central banker.
“In some ways, it’s the perfect complement to Yellen at the Treasury,” Mr. Cohen said.