The Trans-Pacific Partnership Series: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Part 3

Francisco A. Laguna & Amy Turner

Today, we continue our series on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), focusing on the views expressed by former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton.

No other candidate has more of a history with the TPP than Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s position on the treaty has evolved over the years.  During her tenure as Secretary of State, she promoted it on many occasions. However, in the early days of her run for the presidency, Clinton stated that she was reserving her views on the TPP until the deal was finalized, which it was on October 5, 2015. Two days later, Clinton criticized the deal as not being strong enough on job creation, wage increases and advancement of national security, stating that “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.  I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”

Philadelphia, April 20, 2016, by Zachary Moskow - Zachary Moskow, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48290905

Philadelphia, April 20, 2016, by Zachary Moskow – Zachary Moskow, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48290905

Pressed to explain her position, during the Democratic debate on October 13, 2015, Clinton said, “I did say, when I was Secretary of State, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn’t meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And 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.”

Below are other quotes from Secretary Clinton that express her evolving thoughts on the TPP, from her tenure in the Obama Administration until now.  It is important to note that Clinton was not involved in negotiating the final terms of the treaty.

Sept. 8, 2010: “We want to realize the benefits from greater economic integration. In order to do that, we have to be willing to play. To this end … we’re pursuing a regional agreement with the nations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and we know that that will help create new jobs and opportunities here at home.”

March 9, 2011:  “The United States is also making important progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will bring together nine APEC economies in a cutting-edge, next generation trade deal, one that aims to eliminate all trade tariffs by 2015 while improving supply change, saving energy, enhancing business practices both through information technology and green technologies.”

July 8, 2012:  “The United States welcomes Japan’s interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which we think will connect economies throughout the region, making trade and investment easier, spurring exports, and creating jobs.”

Nov. 5, 2012: “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.”

Brown & Black Presidential Forum at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, 11 January 2016, by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America - Hillary Clinton, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46849052

Brown & Black Presidential Forum at Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, January 11, 2016, by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Hillary Clinton, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46849052

May 22, 2015: “I’ve been for trade agreements, I’ve been against trade agreements, voted for some, voted against others, so I want to judge this when I see exactly what exactly is in it and whether or not I think it meets my standards.”

October 13, 2015:  “I did say, when I was Secretary of State, three years ago, that I hoped it would be the gold standard. It was just finally negotiated last week, and in looking at it, it didn’t meet my standards. My standards for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans. And 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.”

March 12, 2016: “We cannot let rules of origin allow China — or anyone else, but principally China — to go around trade agreements. It’s one of the reasons why I oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership because when I saw what was in it, it was clear to me there were too many loopholes, too many opportunities for folks to be taken advantage of.”

Like Senator Sanders, Secretary Clinton opposes the TPP.  Next week, we turn to Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for the Presidency.

Call TransLegal with your questions concerning the TPP or trade agreements in general.

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