Carly Fiorina breaks with many in GOP on Obama’s trade pitch

Published 11:14 AM EDT, Sun May 10, 2015
03:24 - Source: CNN
Here's why the TPP is such a big deal
(CNN) —  

Carly Fiorina says she supports free trade – yet she doesn’t want President Barack Obama to have the congressional green light to finalize a massive Pacific Rim deal.

The former Hewlett Packard executive who’s seeking the Republican presidential nomination said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Obama “does not have a track record of the details matching his selling point.”

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Therefore, she said, she opposes trade promotion authority – legislation that would allow Obama to submit the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership to Congress for an up-or-down vote with limited debate and no amendments. That authority, trade negotiators say, is key to getting other countries to sign off on a final deal.

Republican congressional leaders have strongly backed Obama’s request for the authority. But a bill that would grant it is imperiled as liberal Democrats who oppose expanded trade and tea party Republicans who distrust Obama have linked together to oppose it.

“The truth is, we don’t know what’s in this deal,” Fiorina said.

“I think it’s important to understand some of the fine print of what’s in this deal,” she said. “For example, is China allowed to join this Pacific trading agreement in a couple of years, yes or no?”

Obama has pointed to the deal, which includes Japan, Australia, Canada and Mexico, as a way to counter China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific. But China is not involved in the negotiations, which are ongoing.

“The point is, what exactly is in this agreement?” Fiorina said. “Because this administration unfortunately has a track record of burying things in fine print … that turn out to be very different from their selling points.”