The PJ Tatler

Clinton Opponents Chase Her on Trade, Which She Clarifies with Non-TPA Answer

Hillary Clinton’s official launch speech, progressive? Pshaw, said her two opponents after her New York event, noting that she didn’t take a stand on the trade deal Dems have been trying to squash.

This was the only mention of trade in her speech: “Advances in technology and the rise of global trade have created whole new areas of economic activity and opened new markets for our exports, but they have also displaced jobs and undercut wages for millions of Americans.”

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Friday “Americans should be allowed to read this secretly concluded trade deal before their representatives are asked to vote on it.”

After Clinton’s speech, O’Malley sent out a fundraising email noting that Clinton didn’t “weigh in on the secretive TPP deal that could depress American wages and cost American jobs.”

O’Malley campaign strategist Bill Hyers released a statement saying the candidate has been “fearless and specific in the progressive agenda” including “stopping bad trade deals like TPP.”

This morning on CBS, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said it was time for Clinton to “side with every union in the country, virtually every environmental group and many religious groups and say that this TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] policy is a disaster, that it must be defeated and that we need to regroup and come up with a trade policy which demands that corporate America starts investing in this country rather than in countries all over the world.”

There is no question that what our trade policy has been for many years is to allow corporate America to shut down plants in this country, move abroad, hire people at pennies an hour and then bring their products back to the United States. It is a failed trade policy and I would hope that the secretary joins Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and the vast majority of Democrats in the Congress in saying, ‘No. We’ve got to defeat this piece of legislation,’” Sanders continued. “If she joins us, we could stop this disastrous deal once and for all.”

So on a campaign stop in Iowa today, Clinton addressed House Democrats’ block of President Obama’s trade deal — voting down Trade Adjustment Assistance, which lost Friday, to stop Trade Promotion Authority, which narrowly passed.

“The president should listen to and work with his allies in Congress starting with Nancy Pelosi, who have expressed their concerns about the impact that a weak agreement would have on our workers to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible,” Clinton said. “And if we don’t get it, there should be no deal.”

“The president actually has this amazing opportunity now. Let’s take the lemons and turn it into lemonade.”

However, Clinton danced around her position on the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership or Trade Promotion Authority, why Pelosi is fighting with Obama in the first place.

“Either Clinton isn’t familiar with the very basics of TPA debate or she is being incredibly disingenuous,” tweeted Brendan Buck, communications director for the House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“Pelosi bailed on Obama on TPA, not TPP. Comments about TPP dont answer Clinton’s position on TPA, the relevant one now.”