MEMO: Clinton's Trade Reset

Allison Moore - June 16, 2015

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: RNC National Press Secretary Allison Moore
RE: Clinton’s Trade Reset
DATE: June 16, 2015

Another day, another Clinton “reset.” 
Following her campaign reset speech on Saturday, Hillary Clinton also reset her position on trade. Going against her former boss, she called the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal “lemons.” She aligned herself with liberals in Congress and against President Obama’s free trade policies.
But as Secretary of State, she played a part in drafting the trade deal, calling TPP a “gold standard” and a “benchmark” for future agreements. She was such a strong supporter that “the White House was surprised” by her newfound opposition.
So what’s the real reason for Clinton’s flip-flop? Maybe it has more to do with her competition than with her values?
Senator Bernie Sanders has repeatedly criticized her for not coming out against the trade deal. And powerful union bosses have threatened to withhold their support for her if she supports it. She can’t afford to give a primary opponent an edge, nor can she afford to lose the support of Big Labor. So Clinton is doing what she does best: changing her policy positions for political expediency.
In her last campaign, Clinton praised NAFTA—which her husband signed—in front of pro-trade audiences and attacked it in front of anti-trade audiences. As the Los Angeles Times reported in 2007, "Appearing before free-trade supporters, she has praised the landmark North American Free Trade Agreement, which is loathed by many unions. But speaking to a union audience as a presidential candidate, Clinton said NAFTA hurt workers.”
As a candidate, she opposed a trade agreement with Colombia, but then she supported it as Secretary of State.
In 2007, The Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder wrote, "But has Clinton really become a fair trader? Or is she modulating her language to adapt to the populist vapors of the Democratic base?”
The question is just as relevant today. 
One thing is clear: a majority of Americans don’t believe Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy, and they have good reason for believing that.


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