August 14, 2016

Hillary's hedge on TPP is right there in plain sight: if it "kills jobs or holds down wages."

I'm slogging through NPR's fact check of Hillary Clinton's speech on economics. For example, Hillary 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. I oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election, and I'll oppose it as president.
NPR's Tamara Keith says:
This is Clinton's strongest language yet about the trade deal she called a "gold standard" when she was secretary of state in the Obama administration. At the time, the trade pact was in the early stages of negotiations. For the first several months of her campaign, Clinton resisted taking a position on TPP, saying the deal was still being negotiated. She finally weighed in last October, a week before the first Democratic debate, saying she couldn't support it in its current form. Many progressives are suspicious that, like President Obama did, she would soften her opposition to the trade deal if she is elected. Donald Trump has also charged that Clinton fully intends to sign off on TPP if she is president. Clinton has held firm in her opposition, but in an interview a close political ally of hers seemed to confirm the suspicions, saying she would likely implement it as president. The campaign moved immediately to tamp that down and Clinton in this speech was unequivocal — perhaps because she had to be.
She didn't say she'd stop TPP. She said she has a pre-condition. All she needs to do, once elected, is assert that it doesn't kill jobs or hold down wages. Trade deals, when accepted, are always portrayed as good for us. The condition will always be said to have been met if you ask someone who is accepting the deal, so it's meaningless to announce that you have that condition. But to NPR, it's "Clinton's strongest language yet." That may be literally true, but it's still meaningless. 

33 comments:

Oso Negro said...

What, precisely, would be considered a meaningful statement from Hillary Clinton on any topic? It is easier for me to presume that she will consistently act in the immediate financial interest of her family, which depends on the desires of the global elite who fund her. And if it isn't financial interest, she will be acting to suppress unfavorable press. Beyond that, is there any core principle on which she is compelled to act?

David Begley said...

More lies by Hillary. She's been bribed to her donors to approve TPP.

And I want to know ALL of the terms of TPP. From what I understand TPP is in a special room and only Congressmen can see it, they can't even take notes much less take copies. We have NO idea what is in TPP.

David Begley said...

Oso: The Prime Directive for Hillary is to make money. $100m plus to Hillary and so-called husband and $15m for daughter. Corruption upon top of corruption.

PB said...

Of course, TPP would hold down wages in high-wage countries and raise them in low-wage countries. Production will migrate.

Will it open up markets for our products overseas and open up markets for overseas products here? Of course.

The overall system (USA and TPP trading partners) will optimize, but there will be winners and losers.

rhhardin said...

China makes stuff, sells it for dollars, spends the dollars on Treasuries, the dollars go to pay US non-workers, and create an obligation on grandchildren. It's sort of like public pension plans.

Look for force and fraud when things don't seem to work as the theory suggests.

Trade is good in the absence of force and fraud, but learn to notice force and fraud.

Maybe Trump has an edge on this, in the sense at least of not cashing in on it.

Hillary may notice it but only as an opportunity.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AprilApple said...

Why on earth would anyone trust her on this?

She was pro TPP in her book "hard choices" and in the paper back version, Clinton's TPP support was omitted.

Do people show up at her rallies and yell "yea! I'm so glad you're lying to me, Hillary! you go grrl!" ... ?


AprilApple said...

The Clintons have made 150 million dollars since leaving the white house.

doing what?

Curious George said...

Preet Bharara. America's Last Chance.

buwaya puti said...

All platform promises are meaningless. All these things are designed for getting elected only.
If you want to see what they will do, have a look at what they have done or are doing.

Hagar said...

And the Clintons have a 40 years long record since they first were elected to the AG's office in Arkansas. Only the scale of their operations have changed.

Diogenes of Sinope said...

Clinton is lying about TPP. She will support it and work to get it passed. The technology industries support TPP, it will help them make more money. The Tech oligarchs are supporting Clinton their support will be rewarded.

Fernandinande said...

If passed[sic], the TPP would:

"Make it easier for big corporations to ship our jobs overseas, pushing down our wages and increasing income inequality,

Flood our country with unsafe imported food,

Jack up the cost of medicines by giving big pharmaceutical corporations new monopoly rights to keep lower cost generic drugs off the market,

Empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards,

Ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs,

Roll back Wall Street reforms,

Sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom,

Undermine human rights."

And there might be some unintended consequences...

Fred Drinkwater said...

David, NPR mentioned recently that Hill and Bill had released a 2015 tax return, showing a dramatic reduction of income from 2014, from about 25 million to 10 million (IIRC). All I could think about was "what the hell are those two doing that's worth big bucks to anyone?" (a question with an obvious answer, of course.)

Terry said...

Hillary vocally supported DOMA. Now she says that she always believed in SSM, but that she supported DOMA only to head off a constitutional amendment restricting marriage to one man and one woman.

virgil xenophon said...

@Fernandinade/

You forgot that TPP will also allow other nations to form/shape/limit our immigration policies thru the mechanisms of the treaty, thus wiping out almost ALL of one of THE prime aspects of our national sovereignty.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

All trade deals are bad until renegotiated by Trump. Then they will be good. They just so need the Trump stamp.

hawkeyedjb said...

Huh? If it kills jobs? I thought killing jobs was one of Hillary's most important promises. "We're gonna put a lot of coal miners out of business." Does anybody really think coal is the only industry she wants to destroy?

Chuck said...

She was more categorically opposed to same-sex marriage in 2008.

Of course, someone might have said back then, "She's pro gay and being cagey about it." Could you imagine anyone saying such a thing about Donald Trump?

I don't care about Mrs. Clinton's (or Trump's) opposition to TPP. The people I trust nearly all favor the deal. But whatever. I just do not read Mrs. Clinton as hedging so effectively. Let's review.

"I oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election, and I'll oppose it as president..." does not seem to leave much room for fudging. I mean, she could of course reverse herself. Like she and Obama and just about every Democrat did, on the topic of federally-mandated same-sex marriage.

But to suggest that this is a particular problem for Mrs. Clinton alone is unwarranted in context.

Mick said...

She'll just say that the TPP, "after further study", does not kill jobs or hold down wages. It won't matter anyway, because Trump will win in a LANDSLIDE.

Really "law prof", don't you understand the mendacity that we are witnessing?

Unknown said...

When it gets down to it — talking trade balances here — once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here — once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel — once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:
music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery


--Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash.

Personally speaking I have no aspirations for self or children to be a Pakistani brickmaker.

Achilles said...

PB said...
"Of course, TPP would hold down wages in high-wage countries and raise them in low-wage countries. Production will migrate.

Will it open up markets for our products overseas and open up markets for overseas products here? Of course."

Not all of our products. Only the cronies will have new markets. There are several thousand pages detailing exactly who gets to participate. This is not a free trade deal. A real free trade deal takes 100 words or less.

Freder Frederson said...

Hey Mick,

How can you support Trump? He's not even a natural born citizen. At least according to you.

mockturtle said...

— y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:
music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery


And basketball. Don't forget basketball.

Yancey Ward said...

Depends on what the meaning of "oppose" is.

HT said...

"She didn't say she'd stop TPP. She said she has a pre-condition. All she needs to do, once elected, is assert that it doesn't kill jobs or hold down wages. "

I agree (and keep reminding people that as a young person she was a Goldwater Republican). However, she also said this:

"“I oppose it now, I'll oppose it after the election and I'll oppose it as president."

But yeah, that first one is right there. I figure she'll do some minor tinkering and then approve it. But I've been wrong about her before.

AprilApple said...

Hillary would never lie.


....about everything.

rehajm said...

It's disturbing we've all just become accustomed to having to parse every statement made by the Clintons.

khesanh0802 said...

A WSJ article on previous trade deals with China and how they did not work out as expected. Let's see how much screwing the little people can stand.

Sebastian said...

"But to NPR, it's "Clinton's strongest language yet." That may be literally true, but it's still meaningless." Right. Any change to current language will suffice for her to claim that she "fought to improve" it and stuck to her pledge. She can do anything for any reason, regardless of what she ever said. But Trump is the unpredictable and unstable one.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

It's not a new thing, guys.

Obama sez "marriage is between a man and a woman" and that he opposes gay marriage in 2008. People opposing Obama say "he actually supports gay marriage" Media sez "you idiot opponents, he didn't say that you're liars, pants on fire" etc.
Obama evolves, sez he's for gay marriage, (other than some nonsense wont' really say what changed), Obama opponents say "see, we told you so!" and the Media sez "no, idiots, he evolved, it's nuanced, it's sophisticated, he's so smart."

As long as the final position is the "right" one, the Media won't punish anyone on the Left for lying. Why should the voters?

Anglelyne said...

Chuck: I don't care about Mrs. Clinton's (or Trump's) opposition to TPP. The people I trust nearly all favor the deal.

Good to know that "true conservatives" are the enemies of national sovereignty.

But we knew that.

William Chadwick said...

Like "liberals" (and by that I mean of course "tax-happy, coercion-addicted, power-tripping government sniffers and State fellators") have Clue One about creating prosperity and jobs. As a friend of mine once said, people who talk a lot about giving other people bigger slices of the pie rarely have any idea about how the pie is actually made.