Just days after the U.S. and 11 nations released a monumental trade deal that still faces a fight in Congress, Hillary Clinton says she does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Speaking with Judy Woodruff Wednesday, the Democratic presidential candidate said that as of today, given what she knows of the deal, it does not meet her bar for creating jobs, raising wages for Americans and advancing national security.
Speaking at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, as part of a two-day swing through the leadoff caucus state, Clinton said that she’s worried “about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement” and that “pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients fewer.”
“As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, later adding, “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
The Trans Pacific Partnership 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. Under so-called “fast-track” authority approved by Congress, the president may propose trade deals and have them approved on a simple majority vote, rather than the usual 60 votes required in the U.S. Senate.
President Barack Obama has emphasized that the deal would eliminate or reduce more than 18,000 tariffs that participating countries impose on U.S. exports. He said it strengthens U.S. with a vital region, while keeping countries such as China from writing “the rules of the global economy.”
Clinton did support the trade talks when she was secretary of state. Now, as a Democratic presidential candidate, she has rolled back her support on the deal.
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has longed maintained that the trade agreement is a “bad deal.” Joining critics is Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders who said on Twitter that he was “disappointed” in the pact, adding that the decision will “hurt consumers and cost American jobs.”