Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she would “probably not” vote for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) if she was still in the Senate today. TPA is legislation championed by both the Republican leadership and President Obama.
In an interview on KNPB with Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston Thursday, Clinton reiterated her history in the upper chamber of having voted for and against free trade agreements. “I try to make a judgment based on the merits and when I was in the Senate there were a number of trade agreements that I thought were good, I said okay I’ll vote for them, and others not,” Clinton said.
TPA passed for the second time in the House Thursday, making its way to the Senate. The bill has a few procedural mountains to climb before it can get to Obama’s desk. When Ralston asked the former first lady point blank if she would vote yes or no on TPA when it comes to the Senate, Clinton answered in the negative:
At this point, probably not because it’s a process vote and I don’t want to say it’s the same as TPP. Right now I’m focused on making sure we get trade adjustment assistance and I certainly would not vote for it unless I were absolutely confident we would get trade adjustment assistance.
TPP refers to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-country trade agreement between the United States and Asian and Central American countries which would surely be presented to Congress if TPA is renewed. Earlier in the interview, Clinton expressed some concerns with TPP:
It’s only available to people who go to a certain room in the Capitol Hill Complex and they can’t show it to their aides and they can’t even take notes on it, so all I can judge is what people are coming out and telling me and even in my book, Hard Choices, last summer, I said I have real doubt about this so called investor state dispute settlement agreement, which basically means you run a big company, pick a big Asian company of some sort from one of the countries in the agreement and you want to import some kind of food and the local officials, say in Nevada, say, you know what?
That doesn’t meet our standards.
“Or the FDA says it, somebody says it, and so you then say wait a minute, under this trade agreement I should be able to do that, so I demand one of these dispute settlement determinations,” continued Clinton. “Who’s in the room? Maybe I’m an expert on health and running a hygiene program in Nevada. Maybe I’m the person who oversees the big casinos’ health standards.”
They’ve got lots of people coming, we want to keep them healthy and I say, no, I want to be heard because we found problems in that company’s food and you’re told now, this is just between the company and the local government. Well that makes no sense to me. It should be an open process and I have said that. I’ve said that for months now. So here’s what I…I was willing to wait until I could see what’s in it before I took a decision, like I did when I was a senator.
h/t: Fox News
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