WikiLeaks: Clinton a Total Mess on Trade

Hillary Clinton is an absolute mess on trade right now. She was a strong advocate of TPP as Secretary of State and in her pre-campaign book “Hard Choices.” But now says there is stuff in it she doesn’t like. She’s backed Nancy’s Pelosi’s approach, which was to torpedo TAA in order to stop TPA. But without TPA there is no TPP, which Clinton once supported. Many of her comments on the topic lately have made no logical sense whatsoever. This is probably the most bizarre: “The TPA is a process issue. The issue for me is what’s in the deal,” she said this week in 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.” 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. 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.” The heat is only going to rise if the current legislative gambit to get TPA done works, which it probably will. Which means Obama could finish TPP and send it to Congress. 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. But she will not have covered herself in glory (or consistency or trust-worthiness) by the time that happens.


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