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Clinton Has Demonstrated That Her Position On Trade Is Purely Political

- February 11, 2016

#1 Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

FLIP: As Secretary Of State, Clinton Took "A Leading Part In Drafting The Trans-Pacific Partnership." "She's pressed the case for U.S. business in Cambodia, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, and other countries in China's shadow. She's also taken a leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free trade pact that would give U.S. companies a leg up on their Chinese competitors." (Elizabeth Dwoskin and Indira Laksmanan, "How Hillary Clinton Created A U.S. Business-Promotion Machine,"Bloomberg, 1/10/13)

  • Clinton Had Said The Trans-Pacific Partnership "Sets The Gold Standard In Trade Agreements." "[We] need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. Australia is a critical partner. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment." (Secretary Of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks at Techport Australia , 11/15/12)

FLOP: Once Campaigning For President, Clinton Publicly Announced Her Opposition To The TPP. "After months of delicately avoiding expressing an opinion on the controversial trade deal, Mrs. Clinton said the agreement in its current form did not meet her high bar for protecting American workers, the environment and advancing national security… But while Mrs. Clinton's opposition to the trade pact could do much to appease Democratic voters and labor unions that have seized on the deal as a symbol for the perils of globalization, her decision to repudiate a major legislative goal of Mr. Obama's - one she initially supported - carries significant political risks." (Amy Chozick, "Hillary Clinton Opposes Obama's Trade-Pacific Trade Deal," The New York Times, 10/7/15)

#2 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)

FLIP: In 2006, Clinton Said That She "Thinks NAFTA Has Been A Boon To The Economy." "CLINTON: Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy, but voted against the Central American-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, saying it would drive jobs offshore." (Michael Rothfeld, "Newsday's Guide To Politics And Politicians," [New York] Newsday, 9/11/06)

FLOP: In August 2007, Clinton Said "NAFTA And The Way It's Been Implemented Has Hurt A Lot Of American Workers." QUESTION: "Let's move on to another important topic for this audience in particular, the subject of trade. Senator Edwards had touched on this, Senator Clinton. Over the weekend, this past weekend, you expressed some disappointment that NAFTA, in your words, did not realize the benefits that it was promised - it promised, rather. How would you fix it?" CLINTON: "Well, I had said that for many years, that, you know, NAFTA and the way it's been implemented has hurt a lot of American workers. In fact, I did a study in New York looking at the impact of NAFTA on business people, workers and farmers who couldn't get their products into Canada despite NAFTA. So, clearly we have to have a broad reform in how we approach trade. NAFTA's a piece of it, but it's not the only piece of it." (Sen. Hillary Clinton, AFL-CIO Presidential Candidates Forum, Chicago, IL, 8/7/07)

  • After Promoting Her Husband's Trade Agenda For Years And Lobbying For The Passage Of NAFTA, Clinton Moved Away From Her Husband's Policies During Her 2008 Campaign. "Clinton promoted her husband's trade agenda for years, and friends say that she is a free-trader at heart. 'The simple fact is, nations with free-market systems do better,' she said in a 1997 speech. Now, she is moving away from her husband's policies by opposing a trade deal with South Korea and raising questions about NAFTA. 'We just can't keep doing what we did in the 20th Century,' Clinton said in a March interview." (Kim Chipman and Nicholas Johnston, "Edwards's Stance On Trade May Attract Union Support," Bloomberg, 8/7/07)

FLIP: In 1998, Clinton Praised The Passage Of NAFTA, Pledging To Continue Free Trade Advocacy: "It Is Certainly Clear That We Have Not By Any Means Finished The Job That Has Begun." "At the 1998 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, she praised corporations for mounting 'a very effective business effort in the U.S. on behalf of NAFTA.' She added: 'It is certainly clear that we have not by any means finished the job that has begun.'" (Kristin Jensen and Mark Drajem, "Clinton Breaks With Husband's Legacy On Nafta Pact, China Trade," Bloomberg , 3/30/07)

#3 U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS)

FLIP: In 2012, Clinton Called The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement A "Historic Milestone That Will Lead To Even More Trade And Investment Between Our Two Countries." CLINTON: "Today, the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) enters into force, marking an historic milestone that will lead to even more trade and investment between our two countries. KORUS will provide new market access opportunities in Korea's dynamic trillion dollar economy for U.S. exporters, creating jobs here at home while increasing opportunities for Korean companies in the United States. This agreement is another example of this Administration's commitment to deepening our economic engagement throughout the world." ( Press Release, "U.S., Korea Free Trade Agreement Takes Effect," U.S. State Department, 3/15/12)

FLOP: Once Campaigning For President, Clinton Announced That She Opposed The U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. CLINTON: "I think that there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but for me, it really comes down to those three points that I made, and the fact that we've learned a lot about trade agreements in the past years. Sometimes they look great on paper. I know when President Obama came into office, he inherited a trade agreement with South Korea. I, along with other members of the Cabinet, pushed hard to get a better agreement. We think we made improvements. Now looking back on it, it doesn't have the results we thought it would have in terms of access to the market, more exports, et cetera." (PBS's "News Hour," 10/7/15)

#4 Colombia Free Trade Agreement

FLIP: In 2008, Clinton Opposed A Free Trade Agreement With Colombia, Pledging To Defeat It And Claiming She'd Do "Everything I Can" To Reject It. "Speaking about the Colombia trade deal at a Washington meeting of the Communications Workers of America union, Clinton proclaimed: 'As I have said for months, I oppose the deal. I have spoken out against the deal, I will vote against the deal, and I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.'" ("Clinton Reiterates Opposition To Colombia Trade Pact," Los Angeles Times, 4/9/08)

FLOP: As Secretary Of State, Clinton Said "We Are Absolutely Committed To Passing The U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement." CLINTON: "And of course, we are absolutely committed to passing the U.S.-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement to open new markets and create jobs and opportunities for both of our peoples." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks With Colombian Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin, Washington, DC, 5/31/11)

#5 Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR)

FLIP: Clinton, On The Day CAFTA First Passed The Senate In 2005: "This Is A Sad Day For Supporters Of Free And Fair Rules-Based Trade." CLINTON: "This is a sad day for supporters of free and fair rules-based trade. Our relationship with our Central American neighbors is a critical one. The right CAFTA deal would strengthen ties between the U.S. and these nations. I urge the Administration to reopen the CAFTA negotiations and re-establish the broad, bipartisan coalition for trade."(Hillary Clinton, Congressional Record, 6/30/05, S. 7731)

FLOP: As Secretary Of State, Clinton Touted Her Efforts Relating To CAFTA And Said "We've Worked To Promote Growth And Create Jobs Through … Multilateral Pacts Like NAFTA And CAFTA-DR." CLINTON: "In our region, prosperity has widened in recent decades. We've worked to promote growth and create jobs through sound fiscal policy, bilateral trade agreements, multilateral pacts like NAFTA and CAFTA-DR, and institutions like the Inter-American Development Bank." (Secretary Hillary Clinton, Remarks At Pathways To Prosperity Ministerial, San Jose, Costa Rica, 3/4/10)


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