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Hillary Clinton Has 1 Day to Take a Serious Stand on One of the Biggest Corporate Trade Deals in US History

May 11, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

So far Clinton has refused to say whether she supports granting Obama fast track authority.

The Democratic Party is now in an all-out war over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), with labor unions, environmentalists, and other public interest groups opposed to fast tracking the deal – which would allow it to have a vote with no amendments — battling corporations and President Obama who are for fast track. The big vote on TPP in the US Senate is on Tuesday.

One voice who has been silent in this internecine conflict is Hillary Clinton. Clinton has refused to say whether she supports granting Obama fast track authority, let alone whether she supports the overall agreement. Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, recently joked to some donors that he wishes the deal would just “go away.” She has basically one day to come out and show where she stands on this issue and influence the outcome of the vote.

Secretary Clinton wasn't always so shy about talking about where she really stands on trade agreements. In 1997, her husband then-President Bill Clinton attempted to gain fast track authority to normalize trade relations with China. He failed.

The following year, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton spoke at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland – the home of the “Masters of the Universe,” the world's economic elites.  

At one point, the topic of fast tracking trade with China arose, and Clinton acted as though she furious with corporate elites – not for pushing too hard for trade, but for not pushing hard enough. She lashed out at the “unusual alliance” between Republicans and Democrats that blocked fast track, and demanded that corporations increase their lobbying to pass it in the near future – like they did the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here's a transcript from the archived Clinton White House website:

SCHWAB: In the same context, the fast-track trade legislation is very much at the top of the priorities of your husbands administration. What can you say also to the business …read more


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