Video of Hillary Clinton praising the Trans-Pacific Partnership has surfaced
Clinton reversed her support for the deal in late 2015
Donald Trump plans to hit Clinton on the issue on Tuesday
It’s the video that Sen. Bernie Sanders never had: footage of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on camera praising the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership as “the gold standard” in trade agreements.
The Republican National Committee recently obtained video of Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, on an overseas trip in 2012 praising the TPP, a deal she said she could not support this past October. It appears that Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, will pounce on her reversal when he delivers a speech on trade policy Tuesday afternoon.
“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,” Clinton said in 2012. “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.”
U.S. news organizations previously had the State Department transcript of these remarks.
But they did not have the video until now.
The comments were made in Australia on November 15, 2012, while Clinton was still serving in the Obama administration as Secretary of State.
Trump’s upcoming speech, the latest in a series of scripted addresses, is entitled “Declaring American Economic Independence” and will be delivered at an industrial plant in Monessen, a western Pennsylvania town located south of Pittsburgh.
“Hillary Clinton’s election year conversion on TPP is the ‘gold standard’ of flip-flops,” RNC research director Raj Shah told CNN. “And now we have tape showing she will say or do anything, even if it means misleading struggling American workers desperate for new leadership.”
Clinton was one of the leading supporters of the TPP as secretary of state. In fact, CNN’s Jake Tapper has documented 45 instances when she discussed the trade bill in an approving manner.
But last October, Clinton broke with the White House and came out against its major Pacific trade agreement, undercutting President Barack Obama’s efforts to win congressional approval for the deal.
Clinton has explained the apparent reversal on the trade deal by saying that she was reserving final judgment until the agreement was fully negotiated. Once the deal was done, she said it failed to meet the “high bar” she set with regards to creating good jobs and protecting wages.
Clinton’s stance on the TPP is a source of lingering tension with Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who ran against Clinton but has yet to endorse the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Last week, Sanders unsuccessfully pushed the Democratic Party’s platform committee to go on record opposing a vote on the TPP trade deal during the post-election, lame duck session of Congress or at any point thereafter.
On Monday, Sanders announced that his supporters will press the issue once again when the full Platform Committee meets in Orlando, Florida, in early July and, if necessary, at the full convention in Philadelphia later that month.
The Clinton campaign is brushing off the significance of the “gold standard” video, arguing that it doesn’t change her current opposition to the TPP deal.
It is also getting ready to go on offense against Trump on the trade issue.
Democrat Sherrod Brown, the Ohio senator who has been mentioned as a potential running mate for Clinton, will join Leo Gerard, the international president of the United Steelworkers, on a conference call with reporters Tuesday to talk about Trump’s record of “profiting from outsourcing and overseas labor.”
“Donald Trump can’t escape his record of outsourcing jobs and repeatedly profiting off people’s pain,” said Clinton spokesman Jesse Ferguson. “This speech is just another attempt to distract from the fact that economists say that his dangerous economic policies would cost nearly 3.5 million American jobs and throw us back into a recession.”