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Labor groups also have criticized Ms. Pritzker and her family as being anti-union. She served until March on the Chicago Board of Education, where she clashed with the Chicago Teachers Union. One teachers’ union official told the Chicago Tribune that she had “a long and storied history as an anti-labor and anti-worker kind of boss.”

Hyatt Hotels is embroiled in a four-year-old labor dispute with its main union in Chicago over contract provisions. Union members even produced a movie about a company owned by the Pritzker family that shut down a manufacturing plant in Chicago and accepted millions in tax incentives to move jobs to Louisiana. The AFL-CIO has called for a global boycott of Hyatt.

Mr. Froman has served as the president’s deputy national security adviser for international economics. He has worked as the principal White House negotiator in completing trade agreements with Korea, Colombia and Panama and oversaw the creation of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center to crack down on unfair trade practices.

His appointment comes as the Obama administration is putting new energy into a push for a Pacific Rim free-trade deal that excludes China but recently welcomed Japan into the fold.

Mr. Froman served in a variety of roles during the Clinton administration, including on the White House National Economic Council and as chief of staff of the Treasury Department. In the private sector, he served at Citigroup, primarily as an executive in its international business division.