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Just Like Last Time, Clinton Is Trying To Have It Both Ways On Trade

- November 13, 2015

After Years Of Leading Negotiations On The Deal, Clinton Has Publicly Opposed The Trans-Pacific Partnership To Cover Her Left Flank. PBS’s JUDY WOODRUFF: “So are you saying that as of today, this is not something you could support?”  CLINTON: “What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.  And there is one other element I want to make, because I think it’s important.  Trade agreements don’t happen in a vacuum, and in order for us to have a competitive economy in the global marketplace, there are things we need to do here at home that help raise wages.  And the Republicans have blocked everything President Obama tried to do on that front.  So for the larger issues….and then what I know, and again, I don’t have the text, we don’t yet have all the details, I don’t believe it is going to meet the high bar I have set.” (PBS’s “News Hour,” 10/7/15)

However, When Campaigning In Front Of Pro-Trade Organizations, Clinton Leaves The Door Open To Flip-Flop Back On The Trans-Pacific Partnership. MODERATOR: “So you’re evolving on the issue?” CLINTON: “No, I am against it now, but we’ll see whether there is any kind of significant changes. I mean look if the congress tomorrow adopted my entire you know working wage agenda I’d be pretty excited about that, but I think that will have to wait til I’m actually there as President.” (Hillary Clinton, Remarks At The Hispanic Chamber Of Commerce, 10/15/15)

Clinton’s Tone Strikes A Similar Cord With Her Style In 2007, When Clinton Praised NAFTA In Front Of Free Traders And Slammed NAFTA In Front Of Big Labor. "Appearing before free-trade supporters, she has praised the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement, which is loathed by many unions. But speaking to a union audience as a presidential candidate, Clinton said NAFTA hurt workers." (Peter Nicholas, "Clinton's 2008 Lead Is Clear, Though Her Policies Often Aren't," Los Angeles Times, 10/4/07)

  • As A Presidential Candidate, Clinton's Stance On Free Trade Is "A Tricky Proposition." "For Clinton, free trade is a tricky proposition. Her husband is often identified with NAFTA, which as president he ushered into law despite union opposition. And labor is unhappy about successor trade deals ratified under the Bush administration, some with Sen. Clinton's support." (Peter Nicholas, "Clinton's 2008 Lead Is Clear, Though Her Policies Often Aren't," Los Angeles Times, 10/4/07)

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