During Monday night’s first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Hillary Clinton misrepresented her longstanding support for the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement to millions of American viewers.
During an exchange in which Clinton defended NAFTA and her husband’s trade policies of the 1990s, Trump said:
NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere but certainly ever signed in this country and now you want to approve Trans Pacific Partnership. You were totally in favor of it and then you heard how I said how bad it was and if you win, you would approve it and it would be almost as bad as NAFTA. Nothing will ever top that.
“That is not accurate,” Clinton said in response. “I was against it [TPP] once it was finally negotiated and the terms were laid out.”
Trump interjected: “You called it [TPP] the gold standard. You called it the gold standard of trade deals. You said it was the finest deal you’ve ever seen. You heard what I said about it and you were against it.”
Clinton replied: “Donald, I know you live in your own reality, but that is not the facts. The facts are I did say, I hoped it would be a good deal. But when it was negotiated, which I was not responsible for, I concluded it wasn’t.”
However, Clinton’s claim is not true.
Trump is correct.
In 2012, Clinton declared that TPP “set the gold standard in trade agreements.”
CNN has reported that Hillary Clinton is on the record for having praised or promoted the TPP at least 45 times.
As Bloomberg reported in 2013, Hillary Clinton took on a “leading part in drafting the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
It was not until she began facing political pressure along the campaign trail that Clinton eventually came out and claimed to oppose the deal. However, just this last week, Bill Clinton said that the case for approving TPP was “clear.”
Trump has previously argued that Clinton only says she’s against the TPP because she was “shamed” into doing so and he has warned that, if elected President, Clinton “will immediately approve it [TPP] if it is put before her.”
“Here’s how it would go,” Trump has explained, “she would make a small token change, declare the pact fixed, and ram it through. That’s why Hillary is now only saying she has problems with the TPP ‘in its current form,’ – ensuring that she can rush to embrace it again at her earliest opportunity.”
Trump has challenged the media, which doubts his argument, to ask Clinton if she will pledge “to withdraw from the TPP her first day in office and unconditionally rule out its passage in any form.”