Politico’s Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White calls Hillary Clinton “an absolute mess” when it comes to her stance on trade.
“Hillary Clinton is an absolute mess on trade right now,” he wrote, adding her position on trade is a “fiasco.”
White highlights that as Secretary of State, Clinton advocated for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) – one of President Obama’s trade deals currently being finalized. She also promoted it in her book “Hard Choices.”
However, Clinton now says she sides with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) who opposed granting Obama fast-track authority under Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to finalize his negotiations, including TPP.
“Many of her comments on the topic lately have made no logical sense whatsoever,” White wrote, calling her statements on the issue “bizarre.”
“The TPA is a process issue. The issue for me is what’s in the deal,” Clinton said earlier this week during a visit to New Hampshire. “I think this is a chance to use this leverage so that the deal does become one that more Americans and members of Congress can vote for.”
White responded: “Where to start? TPA is not a process issue. Without it there is no TPP. And what kind of leverage was she talking about? TPA is designed to give the administration leverage to get the best trade terms possible. Blocking it would take that leverage away.”
However, Breitbart News previously reported that TPA isn’t necessarily needed to complete TPP, so White’s statement, “Without [TPA] there is no TPP” isn’t wholly accurate. According to Senate staff, if TPA weren’t granted, a trade deal – such as the TPP – would move through Congress via the same process as other legislation.
White mocked Clinton’s statements, writing, “Clinton might as well have said: “I can’t anger the left or feed Bernie Sanders’ momentum by backing my former boss on TPA so an advisor told me to dismiss it as a ‘process issue’ so that’s what I’m doing even though it makes no sense and everyone knows it.””
White’s analysis on Clinton’s trade position – highlighting her wavering position – suggests she is flip-flopping to appease her left base.
“Perhaps Clinton’s need to tack so nakedly and embarrassingly to the left will be over by the time that happens and she can return to her previous support for TPP,” he wrote. “But she will not have covered herself in glory (or consistency or trust-worthiness) by the time that happens.”