Clinton promised unequivocally to not support TPP even as president

By Reuters/Jonathan Allen   August 12, 2016 | 12:12 am PT
Clinton promised unequivocally to not support TPP even as president
U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in Warren, Michigan August 11, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane
She says her economic plan would do more for the middle-class in the U.S.

U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said in a speech at a Michigan factory on Thursday that her jobs and tax plans would better help middle-class Americans than the plans released earlier this week by Republican rival Donald Trump.

Democratic nominee Clinton ran through many of the policies she has outlined over the last year to contrast herself with Trump, who has given far fewer details about his plans, as the presidential campaign heads toward the Nov. 8 election.

Trump delivered an economic speech in Detroit on Monday. He publicly named his economic advisers last week.

"He's offered no credible plans to address what working families are up against today," Clinton said, shortly after touring Futuramic, a hangar-like, high-tech factory in Warren, Michigan, that makes parts for the aerospace industry.


U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton smiles as she takes pictures with supporters at Futuramic Tool & Engineering in Warren, Michigan August 11, 2016. Photo by Reuters/Chris Keane

Workers' anxiety over trade deals has become a central theme in the 2016 election, and Clinton rejected the portrait Trump has painted that she is only pretending not to favor the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a planned deal which she had praised when she was secretary of state in President Barack Obama's first term but has opposed as a candidate for the presidency.

"It's true that too often past trade deals have been sold to the American people with rosy scenarios that didn't pan out," Clinton said.

Clinton had also previously supported the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, her husband, and which Trump routinely disparages as bad for American jobs. Clinton now says she would renegotiate it.

"The answer is not to rant and rave, or cut ourselves off from the world," she told a crowd of factory workers. "That would kill even more jobs.

"The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us," Clinton said. "So my message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership."

She promised unequivocally to not support TPP even as president.

At the Democratic National Convention in July, where Clinton will formally accept her party's presidential nomination, opposition to trade deals was plastered on buttons, scrawled on signs and chanted by delegates. Many are worried by her past support of 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which is still awaiting congressional approval.

Things are unlikely to get any easier for her. Clinton has said her stance on trade has evolved, that she now opposes TPP because it does not do enough to protect jobs and that she wants changes in NAFTA, the trade deal her husband, Bill Clinton, signed during his presidency.

The pending Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiated by President Barack Obama has drawn criticism from both Clinton and Trump.After Trump named an all-male group of economic advisers earlier this week, Clinton mocked it as "six guys named Steve."

On Thursday, Trump released a list of nine additions to the council, eight of whom are women. New members included roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks, investor Carla Sands and hedge funder Anthony Scaramucci.

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