Hillary Clinton is reassuring supporters in Warren, Michigan that her anti-trade position on Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership is not simply political positioning.
“I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president,” she said.
Clinton famously lost Michigan’s primary to Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had stronger anti-trade credentials.
Her position on trade has evolved since she served as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, praising Obama’s trade plan 45 times before eventually turning against the president during the Democratic presidential primary.
Questions were raised about Clinton’s position on trade after her close confidant Gov. Terry McAuliffe asserted that she would change her mind after she was elected.
“I worry that if we don’t do TPP, at some point China’s going to break the rules — but Hillary understands this,” he said. “Once the election’s over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it, but going forward, we got to build a global economy.”
Clinton said that Trump’s position on trade was “based on fear” and his desire to “hide behind walls.”
She compared the notion of trade to America’s willingness to compete around the world, referencing the Olympic games.
“If Team USA was as fearful as Trump, Michael Phelps and Simone Biles would be cowering in the locker room,” she said.
Clinton condemned previous presidents for promoting trade deals that actually hurt American workers — but didn’t mention her support for NAFTA.
“It’s true that too often past trade deals have been sold to the American people with rosy scenarios that did not pan out,” she said. “Those promises now ring hollow in many communities across Michigan and our country that have seen factories close and jobs disappear.”