Make us your home page
Instagram

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times

PolitiFact: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton lauded controversial TPP deal

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - SEPTEMBER 28:  Donald Trump walks on stage at a rally on September 28, 2016 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trump has been campaigning today in Iowa, Wisconsin and Chicago.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) 673093561

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IA - SEPTEMBER 28: Donald Trump walks on stage at a rally on September 28, 2016 in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Trump has been campaigning today in Iowa, Wisconsin and Chicago. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) 673093561

The statement

Says Hillary Clinton called the Trans-Pacific Partnership "the gold standard. You called it the gold standard of trade deals. You said it's the finest deal you've ever seen."

Donald Trump, in the Sept. 26 presidential debate

The ruling

Trump has criticized both the North American Free Trade Agreement approved under President Bill Clinton and the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated by President Barack Obama's administration.

Hillary Clinton, of course, was part of the Obama administration as secretary of state. So what did she say about TPP?

Back in 2012 when she was leading the State Department, Clinton was pretty effusive in her support of the deal. While in Australia, Clinton delivered remarks on the general topic of the U.S.-Australia relationship. Here's everything she said about the TPP in that address, with the "gold standard" comment in bold.

"So it's fair to say that our economies are entwined, and we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. Australia is a critical partner. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment."

At that point, it seems clear Clinton is saying the TPP sets the gold standard. She didn't say she "hoped" it would.

Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung pointed to this statement in Australia to defend his candidate's statement.

Other comments around the same time echoed similar assuredness that the TPP would meet that high bar. In November 2012 remarks in Singapore, she encouraged all nations "willing to meet 21st century standards as embodied in the TPP" to join the deal.

"The so-called TPP will lower barriers, raise standards, and drive long-term growth across the region. It will cover 40 percent of the world's total trade and establish strong protections for workers and the environment," she said, adding that it would result in better jobs with better wages and working conditions.

She did not say it was "the finest deal" she'd ever seen. But here are some of the other words Clinton used to describe the TPP before she left the State Department in 2013: "exciting," "innovative," "ambitious," "groundbreaking," "cutting-edge," "high-quality" and "high standard."

Now, at that point, the deal was still being negotiated. And even before it was finalized, she started to temper her expectations for the deal as the campaign drew near.

Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin pointed to this passage in her 2014 memoir Hard Choices:

"Because TPP negotiations are still ongoing, it makes sense to reserve judgment until we can evaluate the final proposed agreement. It's safe to say the TPP won't be perfect — no deal negotiated among a dozen countries ever will be — but its higher standards, if implemented and enforced, should benefit American businesses and workers."

More recently, after the deal was finalized last year and presented for Congress to approve, Clinton changed her position and now says she opposes it.

It's worth pointing out that as secretary of state, Clinton spoke as a representative of the Obama administration, which was and remains wholeheartedly in favor of the deal.

We rate Trump's statement Mostly True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

PolitiFact: Donald Trump says Hillary Clinton lauded controversial TPP deal 09/30/16 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2016 3:44pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rick Scott appoints 'my friend,' Jimmy Patronis, as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed a long-time friend and political supporter, Jimmy Patronis, to replace Jeff Atwater as Florida's next chief financial officer, making him one of three members of the Cabinet that sets state policy on a wide range of issues. He'll take over Friday.

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  4. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  5. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]