As a congressman, Beto O’Rourke voted in support of President Barack Obama’s effort to pass the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal and even helped promote it.
O’Rourke joined a select group of lawmakers on Air Force One in 2016 as they traveled to Vietnam and Japan to promote the trade deal. Fellow 2020 candidate Congressman Julian Castro also went on the trip.
“They’re strong TPP supporters, and we’re very proud of the work that they’ve done,” Obama said in Vietnam, referring to O’Rourke and Castro. “We’re just going to have to work hard to convince some of their colleagues. But ultimately, I think we can get it passed.”
But O’Rourke now says he has a different mindset about the trade deal.
“O’Rourke now says he would have voted ‘no’ on the ultimate agreement,” Vanity Fair author Joe Hagan wrote on Wednesday.
The TPP trade deal was a contentious issue in the 2016 campaign as both Sen. Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump signaled their opposition to Obama’s effort. Despite promoting the deal as President Obama’s former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, ultimately opposed the deal for political reasons.