Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership -- a reversal from her previous stand that distances her from the Obama administration. During her tenure as U.S. secretary of state 2009-13, she advocated for the deal 45 times, according to CNN. This year, however, Clinton told reporters she did not want to comment on the deal until it was finalized, and in July she said she had never worked directly on the deal.
"As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it," Clinton said Wednesday in an interview in Iowa with PBS' Judy Woodruff.
"I have said from the very beginning that we had to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security, and I still believe that is the high bar we have to meet," Clinton said. "I don't believe it's going to meet the high bar I have set."
Clinton cited currency manipulation enforcement, benefits for pharmaceutical companies and the impact on American workers as reasons for opposing the deal. Although she had not announced her reversed position until Wednesday, Clinton hinted over the summer that she was worried about the TPP.
"There are some specifics in there that could and should be changed," Clinton said in June, CNN reported. "So I am hoping that's what happens now. Let's take the lemons and turn it into lemonade."
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) October 7, 2015
Clinton's Democratic presidential rival Martin O'Malley expressed disapproval of her changed position. "Wow! That's a reversal! I was against the Trans-Pacific Partnership months and months ago. We were told in Nafta all sorts of great promises, and what we got in return were shuttered factories and empty pockets," O'Malley said, according to a press release. "I believe we need to stop stumbling backwards into bad deals. Secretary Clinton can justify her own reversal of opinion on this, but I didn't have one opinion eight months ago and switch that opinion on the eve of debates. I'm against the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I let people know that from the outset, and I think we need to focus on building up our own economy."
The TPP would create a free-trade zone with common labor and environmental standards, and measures to protect data and intellectual property of large companies. The Obama administration sold it as a way to right Nafta's shortcomings by adding chapters requiring improved labor conditions and enacting environmental standards in the countries involved in the deal.