Politics

WH on Hillary Clinton’s Changed Stance on TPP Without Reading the Agreement

Hillary Clinton defended her changed stance on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Tuesday, saying that once she read the details of the deal, she found it does not meet her standards.

A journalist at the White House press briefing asked spokesman Josh Earnest how Clinton could have changed her mind, given that details of the agreement have not been made public.

"Yeah, I noticed that too," Earnest said.

The Obama administration has been on sales-pitch overdrive to sell the trade agreement to Congress and the general public, but the agreement's details have not been made public.

During Clinton's time as secretary of state she supported the deal, calling it "the gold standard" for free trade in the Pacific Rim. During the Democratic Party debate, she said that after seeing the deal's details, she found it does not meet her standards.

"We have made a commitment to make the text public both prior to the president signing it, but also prior to responsibility Congress has to consider and ratify it," Earnest said.

Democrats have historically been against trade deals, and Earnest said the White House has been forthcoming with details for why Democrats should support the agreement.

The details of the TPP have not yet been made public and are only available to members of Congress and in a confidential setting. Earnest highlighted tax-cutting measures and the enforceable environmental and labor standards included in the agreement. In the past, those factors are what have kept Democrats from voting for trade deals.