Skip to Content

Clinton Breaks With Obama To Oppose Asia Trade Deal

October 7, 2015

After months of not committing to a position on President Obama’s proposed Asia trade deal, Hillary Clinton came out against it Wednesday.

“I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security, and I still believe that’s the high bar we have to meet,” the Democratic presidential candidate told Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour.

Saying she is worried about currency manipulation not being included in the agreement along with lack of pharmaceutical price protections, Clinton said she opposes the current Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“What I know of it,” Clinton said, “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”

It’s a significant break for Clinton, who once championed the deal as secretary of State. Clinton later released a statement reiterating her opposition:

“I still believe in the goal of a strong and fair trade agreement in the Pacific as part of a broader strategy both at home and abroad, just as I did when I was Secretary of State. I appreciate the hard work that President Obama and his team put into this process and recognize the strides they made. But the bar here is very high and, based on what I have seen, I don’t believe this agreement has met it.”

In her post-administration book Hard Choices, she called the agreement an important tool for engaging with Vietnam and for protecting higher standards for American businesses and workers.

She did, however, say she was reserving judgment and questioned an enforcement process called the investor-state dispute settlement. It lets companies doing international business go before an international panel of arbitrators, rather than a country’s own justice system.

Clinton’s TPP opposition puts her in line with labor groups and progressives — such as her chief rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — who have come out against the deal. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, pushed through the North American Free Trade Agreement in 1993.

This is the second major policy shift for Clinton in recent weeks. Late last month, she announced her opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline, which the Obama administration is still contemplating. In both instances, Clinton took much longer to reach decisions than her Democratic rivals.

TPP still faces hurdles in Congress, though, the president now has fast-track authority on the deal — only a simple majority in the Senate is needed for its approval. But with many progressive Democrats opposing it, and even some conservatives lawmakers skeptical of it, it is far from a done deal.

The TPP is the largest regional trade agreement in history. The U.S., Japan and 10 other nations finished crafting a deal Monday that cuts trade barriers, sets labor and environmental standards and protects multinational corporations’ intellectual property.

But the accord still faces a battle in Congress, which has 90 days to review the agreement before voting on it. The deal faces a lower legislative hurdle than most proposals in Congress.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Our lives have changed ...

CPR will not compromise in serving you and our community. Vital news and essential music are made possible by member support.

Donate

Experiencing and Confronting Bias

Recently on the national program The Takeaway, former CPR journalist Lee Hill shared his experience from his time here. Hill’s story, as well as feedback from our current staff, has led to deep introspection at Colorado Public Radio. These are hard lessons about the harmful effects of white privilege and implicit bias.
Read the full statement from our President & CEO.

Celebrate Summerfest!

CPR Classical's 10-week summer festival features a star-studded concert series of today's greatest performers and Colorado's own world-class festivals and musicians. We're providing a front row seat in your own home or your lawn to the best soundtrack for your summer.

B-Side Fridays On Indie 102.3

The B-Side Summer Music Series is going virtual this year. Indie 102.3 has partnered with MCA Denver to bring you the rooftop performances virtually. Watch every Friday at noon on Indie 102.3's Facebook page or listen at 9 p.m. each week.