The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia control some of the largest investment funds in the region, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, which tracks these types of funds.
Mnuchin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mnuchin often travels to the Middle East through the Trump administration, most often in connection with the treasury̵
Mnuchin also visited the region in October to promote trade ties following the Abrahamic agreements, which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab states. Mnuchin and Jared Kushner, an adviser and son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, also helped set up the 2019 conference in Bahrain, which helped reach the Abrahamic agreements.
Mnuchin traveled to Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in October 2018, although the Saudi king was widely suspected of ordering the brutal assassination of journalist Jamal Hashoghi just weeks earlier. The CIA later concluded that Mohammed had ordered the assassination.
Trump has been a strong supporter of the heir to the throne, viewing Saudi Arabia and allies such as the United Arab Emirates as key partners in efforts to oppose Iran in the region. Trump has blocked congressional efforts to halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia and pushed for arms sales to the UAE despite bilateral opposition in Congress.
Although it is unclear whether Mnuchin will seek funding from the Saudi or UAE governments, his planned investment efforts, which come so soon after leaving office, raise concerns about whether the Trump administration’s policies are influenced by Mnuchin’s future activities, he said. ethics expert.
“The fact that there were policies that were favorable to countries that could now benefit him in business matters is worrying and raises questions as to whether even the prospect of future business interests may have influenced decision-making, even if not. concrete plans on the ground, ”said Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens Accountability and Ethics in Washington, D.C., a nonprofit market group.
Following in the footsteps of other former senior government officials, Mnuchin has joined the speech since leaving the finance ministry and plans to charge $ 250,000 to speak in person, Bloomberg News reported last week.
Mnuchin’s successor, Finance Minister Janet Yellen, has earned more than $ 7 million in speaking fees over two years from major banks and corporations, according to her financial disclosure form.