The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a controversial trade deal both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have repeatedly slammed throughout their presidential campaigns. But what about Hillary Clinton, who was influential in pushing the deal just a few years ago as Secretary of State?
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which connects 12 Pacific Rim nations, was signed in February 2016 after 7 years of negotiations; it has since become one of President Obama’s top priorities during his “lame duck” phase.
The biggest criticism of the trade deal is that it will increase economic inequality (the deal’s 12 nations already represent 40% of the world economy). Opponents are also concerned with human rights, environmental effects, and sovereignty issues.
Donald Trump views the TPP as a “disaster,” arguing that it was “pushed by special interests who want to rape our country.”
The situation is a little tricky for Clinton, who seems to have changed her mind about the deal she worked so hard to push. During a CNN Democratic debate last year, Hillary said that she had acquired “new information” which led her to oppose the trade deal. “I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘this will help raise your wages.’ And I concluded I could not,” stated Hillary.
She reiterated that opinion this Thursday during a speech in Warren, Michigan: “I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election, and I’ll oppose it as Presdient.” Is this an honest change of heart (does she even have a heart?) or is Hillary just trying to win over on-the-fence liberals and steal some of her adversary’s anti-trade thunder?
During her speech, Hillary also called for:
• Higher taxes to fund infrastructure
• More restrictions to rein in Wall Street
• Phase II of Obamacare
• More government responsibility in managing the economy
• An increase in jobs for blue-collar workers
“There is too much inequality, too little upward mobility. It is just too hard to get ahead today,” she said, sounding much like former rival Bernie Sanders. “But there are common-sense things that your government could do that would give Americans more opportunities to succeed.”
While I view Clinton’s decision to oppose the trade deal as a good thing, her ability to completely flip flop on important issues is suspicious. What are her promises worth now, if she’s just going to change her mind in a year or two? On top of that, Hillary and her husband have a pro-trade history, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if she were lying to us now.
“She [Hillary] supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership – not now but very soon if she wins and we can’t let her win,” said Trump earlier this week.