With pressure mounting on her candidacy from the Bernie Sanders campaign, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton announced her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Video of Clinton discussing her opposition to TPP on PBS Newshour:
In a statement, Clinton said:
I’m continuing to learn about the details of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership, including looking hard at what’s in there to crack down on currency manipulation, which kills American jobs, and to make sure we’re not putting the interests of drug companies ahead of patients and consumers. But based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement.
As I have said many times, we need to be sure that new trade deals meet clear tests: They have to create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security. The bar has to be set very high for two reasons.
First, too often over the years we haven’t gotten the balance right on trade. We’ve seen that even a strong deal can fall short on delivering the promised benefits. So I don’t believe we can afford to keep giving new agreements the benefit of the doubt. The risks are too high that, despite our best efforts, they will end up doing more harm than good for hard-working American families whose paychecks have barely budged in years.
Second, we can’t look at this in a vacuum. Years of Republican obstruction at home have weakened U.S. competitiveness and made it harder for Americans who lose jobs and pay because of trade to get back on their feet. Republicans have blocked the investments that we need and that President Obama has proposed in infrastructure, education, clean energy, and innovation. They’ve refused to raise the minimum wage or defend workers’ rights or adequately fund job training.
As a result, America is less competitive than we should be. Workers have fewer protections, the potential positive effects of trade are diminished, and the negative effects are exacerbated. We’re going into this with one arm tied behind our backs.
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.
CNN compiled a list of 45 occasions where Hillary Clinton pushed TPP.
Does anyone believe that Clinton would have opposed TPP if Bernie Sanders was not running such a strong campaign? Before he was a candidate, Sen. Sanders frequently discussed the need to hold Clinton accountable to the left.
On issues like Keystone XL and TPP, Sanders has been able to move Clinton left by staking out his position first. The political argument surrounds whether or not it matters when Hillary Clinton gets to the more leftward position.
For this reason, Sen. Sanders has had a huge impact on the 2016 Democratic primary. Win or lose, Bernie Sanders deserves a ton of credit for moving Hillary Clinton to left sooner than her campaign probably wanted to go there.