Citing concerns over currency manipulation and benefits for pharmaceutical companies, Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday she does not support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal negotiated by the Obama administration with Japan and 10 other countries.
"What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favor of what I've learned about it," Clinton told PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff.
The Obama administration, along with Japan and 10 other countries, announced on Monday that they had reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest regional trade deal in history.
Clinton, who in her role as secretary of state played a role in pushing for the TPP, said that from what she knows of the deal, she doesn't believe it meets the "high bar" she has set for an agreement.
"I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the agreement, but I'm worried," Clinton said. "I'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulations that countries particularly in Asia have engaged in. I'm worried that the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers fewer. I think that there are still a lot of unanswered questions."
"So for the larger issues, and then what I know, and again I don't have the text, we don't yet have all the details," Clinton continued. "I don't believe it's going to meet the high bar I have set."
During a campaign stop on Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa, Clinton dodged a question about the trade deal, telling a reporter she still had research to complete before weighing in. "I'm going to be diving into that tonight," Clinton said. "I'm going to be talking to people about it. They're giving me all the information they can gather so that I can make a timely decision."
When the reporter noted that one of her top surrogates in Iowa, Tom Vilsack, supports the deal, Clinton said, "I certainly think that people have good opinions. I'm looking at all of them."
Earlier in the campaign, when asked about TPP, Clinton often said she wouldn't be commenting until seeing the final details of the trade deal.
As secretary of state, Clinton advocated for the TPP, calling the agreement a "gold standard" in "open free, transparent, fair trade — the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field."
In her memoir, which before Wednesday contained the most comprehensive recent statement from Clinton on TPP, she acknowledged that the deal wouldn't be "perfect." "No deal negotiated among a dozen countries ever will be," Clinton wrote, "but its higher standards, if implemented and enforced, should benefit American businesses and workers."
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Kyle Blaine is the deputy politics editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Kyle Blaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ruby Cramer is a politics reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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