October 11, 2015
By Johann Galloway
It’s no coincidence Hillary Clinton flip-flopped her position on the 12-nation TPP trade agreement (Trans-Pacific Partnership) just days before the first Democratic presidential debate.
There are 12 countries involved: the U.S., Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru.The pact is aimed at deepening economic ties between these nations, slashing tariffs and fostering trade to boost growth. Member countries are also hoping to foster a closer relationship on economic policies and regulation.
The agreement could create a new single market like that in Europe.
By embracing some of Bernie’s ideals, Clinton hopes to lessen the impact of going toe-to-toe with the popular anti-establishment candidate in front of the estimated 50 million viewers of Tuesday’s Democratic Debate.
During her time as secretary of state Clinton spoke out in favor of the deal 45 times and said in 2012 that the Trans-Pacific Partnership “sets the gold standard in trade agreements.” Yet on Wednesday, she told PBS’s Judy Woodruff “as of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it.”
Bernie’s stance on the issue has been steadfast:
“The TPP follows in the footsteps of other unfettered free trade agreements like the North American Free Trade Agreement, NAFTA; The Central America Free Trade Agreement,CAFTA; and the Permanent Normalized Trade Agreement with China known as PNTR. These treaties have forced American workers to compete against desperate and low-wage labor around the world. The result has been massive job losses in the United States and the shutting down of tens of thousands of factories. These corporately backed trade agreements have significantly contributed to the race to the bottom, the collapse of the American middle class, and increased income inequality. The TPP is more of the same, but even worse.”
After a speech to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington on Thursday, Bernie told reporters “I’ll let the American people determine who has credibility or not, I’m glad that she reached that conclusion. This is a conclusion I reached on day one.”
He added “I can simply say that I am delighted that Secretary Clinton is on-board with opposition to the TPP, to be very frank with you, it would’ve been more helpful to have her on board a few months ago.”
Hillary’s staff are not underestimating Bernie and his assertive speak from the heart style. They’ve been prepping her for the debate for months, including mock sessions with high paid consultants who play the part of Sanders, and plenty of meetings with policy experts. Bernie has an aversion to typical debate practice but has run many successful campaigns and taken part in at least 19 major political debates.
Vermont journalist Greg Guma, CEO of Pacifica Radio, told CNN “He’s very practiced as a debater and able to boil it down to a clear, unequivocal message. He’s ready made for this close-up he’s gonna get next week.”
The Democratic debate will be broadcast live on CNN Tuesday October 13th at 9:00pm Eastern.