Donald Trump’s campaign excoriated Hillary Clinton for her plan, exposed by WikiLeaks, to “turn her back on union members and support the Trans Pacific Partnership once she is elected.”
A Clinton campaign memo made public by WikiLeaks “reveals that Hillary Clinton told Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) that Clinton was only pretending to oppose TPP in order to get union support but would sign it when she was president,” write Trump advisers Peter Navarro and Curtis Ellis.
The advisers write:
Rep. Johnson, an early Clinton supporter, told constituents in her Dallas district that she speaks with Hillary Clinton several times a week, and the presidential nominee told her that the only reason she opposes TPP is to get ‘labor off her back’ and that once she is elected President she will reverse position. This fits with Hillary’s earlier confession to bankers that she has a public position and a private position on every issue.
“Donald Trump is the only candidate who opposes the TPP and will stop it,” the advisers explain. “If [Clinton is] elected, she will sign the Trans-Pacific Partnership into law. She said so herself,” they write.
Indeed, earlier this week, Obama’s U.S. trade representative Michael Froman said that he believes Congress likely has the votes to pass TPP if Congressional leaders were to bring the deal up for a vote–even though polling data suggests that members of Congress, who vote for the deal, would be acting against the desires of the American electorate that opposes the multinational trade pact.
If Clinton were to reverse her public position on the TPP, reports suggest she would likely receive support from Republican establishment lawmakers. As Washington Post has reported, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan would likely advance Clinton’s globalist agenda on foreign trade. Ryan championed the effort to grant President Obama the executive authority to fast-track the TPP. In a 2015 Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ryan described the TPP as an “historic” agreement which “would mean greater access to a billion customers for American manufacturers, farmers and ranchers.”
In their memo, Trump’s advisers note that “this is not the first time the Clintons have pretended to oppose job-killing trade deals before an election then pushed them afterwards.” The advisers explain that her husband claimed to oppose NAFTA before he was elected President, and that Hillary Clinton claimed to oppose the then-pending Columbia and South Korea trade pacts before lobbying for them as Secretary of State.
When Hillary announced her public opposition to TPP, she carefully hedged her words to leave the door open to support it down the road. Sen. Tim Kaine told “Meet The Press” a President-elect Hillary Clinton would, “never close the door” on a multinational Asian trade deal. Asked to disavow supporting a version of the TPP after the election, Kaine said “We’re not sure yet.”
In 1992, Bill Clinton opposed NAFTA before the election. But after the election, he made cosmetic changes to the pact, declared it fixed, and pushed it through Congress.
In her 2008 presidential run, Hillary said she opposed the then-pending free trade agreements with Colombia and South Korea declaring, “I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.”
In a 2015 interview with Nevada public television [11:29 mark], Hillary pointed to the South Korea trade deal as an example of how she would make superficial changes to the TPP and sign it. “When President Obama came in and I came in, we’re presented with this free trade agreement [with Korea] and we say it’s not strong enough … We can’t go forward with it unless there are changes – that is the kind of negotiation I am proposing [with TPP].”
After some superficial changes were made, Secretary Clinton helped push the Korea trade pact through Congress, promising it would create 70,000 jobs and boost exports. In reality, the trade deficit with Korea surged $15.4 billion (99 percent). The increase in the trade deficit with Korea cost more than 100,000 American jobs in the first four years of the free trade agreement. The surge of imports of auto parts and vehicles from Korea hit the auto industry particularly hard.
The advisers note that “the biggest victim in this latest Clinton bait and switch will be the millions of Americans whose jobs will be sent overseas. TPP will destroy what is left of an American manufacturing base that has been devastated over the past 15 years by three other bad Clinton trade deals: 1993’s NAFTA, China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization, and the 2012 South Korea deal.”