Updated 4:31 p.m. | In a major break with President Barack Obama and her own past record, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she doesn’t support the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.
“What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff Wednesday. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jeh-14A8Rbc&feature=youtu.be
The former secretary of State, who in 2012 called the TPP the “gold standard” of trade agreements and praised it in her book Hard Choices, offered the caveat that she had not yet seen all the details of the agreement. But she said, “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
In particular she noted the lack of currency manipulation enforcement in the agreement, and said previous agreements have looked good on paper but haven’t always delivered — citing the South Korea free trade agreement ratified under Obama as one example.
Unless she changes her mind, Clinton’s opposition could help sink the trade pact; it’s already lost some Republican votes from tobacco country because it allows countries to regulate tobacco products, and a final vote to approve the deal expected sometime next year will be a nail-biter.
Clinton has repeatedly broken with Obama in recent weeks: dinging him for not following her advice to train Syrian rebels early on in that conflict, saying he had implemented immigration laws harshly in a failed attempt to get Republican support for legislation, and coming out against the Keystone XL pipeline while it remains under review by the department she used to lead.
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., her possible rival for the presidency, is expected to lead the fight in Congress to pass the TPP.
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