USTR nominee asked about offshore investments

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By JIM ABRAMS, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The administration's choice to become the next U.S. Trade Representative appears headed for Senate confirmation despite Republican questions about nominee Michael Froman's investments in a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax haven.

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah says he plans to vote for Froman, who most recently has served as President Barack Obama's deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs. Froman also has helped negotiate past trade agreements.

But the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee says Froman was the third cabinet-level nominee this year to have made use of offshore investments. Hatch also spoke of the "hypocrisy" of the Obama administration, which has strongly condemned corporations and the wealthy who keep money in foreign tax shelters.

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