Clinton Changes Her Mind on Obama’s Trade Deal

For the first time, she comes out firmly against the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

<a href=http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/DEM-2016-Clinton/b781353df2354e77a42d596abc725c37/21/0>Charlie Neibergall</a>/AP


Hillary Clinton firmly distanced herself today from a top priority of the Obama administration, announcing her opposition to President Barack Obama’s controversial trade deal after avoiding a firm position on the pact for months.

In an interview with CBS’s Judy Woodruff in Iowa on Wednesday afternoon, Clinton stated her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a deal that, after years of negotiations, Obama hopes will be a cornerstone of his presidential legacy. In the interview, Clinton cited apprehension that protections against currency manipulation were absent from the details of the TPP, as well as her concern over the imbalance between benefits for pharmaceutical companies and those for patients.

“We’ve learned a lot about trade agreements in the past years,” Clinton said. “Sometimes they look great on paper. I know when President Obama came into office he inherited a trade agreement with South Korea. I, along with other members of the cabinet, pushed to get a better agreement. Now looking back on it, it doesn’t have the results we thought it would have.”

Shortly afterward, Clinton published a fuller explanation of her opposition to the deal.

“As I have said many times, we need to be sure that new trade deals meet clear tests,” Clinton wrote. “They have to create good American jobs, raise wages, and advance our national security.”

This move from Clinton is not altogether surprising in the context of her political evolution regarding trade deals. In June, Clinton proclaimed that had she still been serving in the Senate, she would have voted against giving Obama “fast-track authority” to enact the TPP. But in her 2014 book Hard Choices, she wrote that while the TPP “won’t be perfect,” it would still “benefit American businesses and workers.” And as Obama’s secretary of state, she called it the “gold standard in trade agreements.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.