White House spokesman Eric Schultz said Friday that despite Democratic opposition from Hillary Clinton and others in the party, the Obama administration still believes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is "good policy."
Washington Post reporter David Nakamura pressed Schultz about whether President Obama was willing to secede from his pro-TPP stance despite resistance from his party's presidential candidate. Many at the convention waved anti-TPP signs during speeches. Clinton supported the TPP as Secretary of State, but she flip-flopped once she became a presidential candidate.
Recent Stories in Politics
"Given what we saw in Philadelphia, is the President willing to give up on TPP considering the rhetoric on the floor of the convention, as well as some of the statements from the Clinton camp, that she wants wholesale changes before she would support any of this?" he asked.
"The answer to that question is no," Schultz said. "The president believes that the [Trans]-Pacific Partnership is good policy for American businesses and American workers."
He said that Obama understood the politics surrounding the issue, but he holds that this deal is the best way to help American businesses and American workers. Schultz touted what he called the "robust" human and environmental standards in the deal.
Nakamura pressed further, citing that other agencies, such as USTR, have been vouching for the merits behind TPP, but wondered if it had become more difficult for Obama to sell it regardless.
"Do you believe that it's getting harder though and more difficult in the climate, even among your own party?" he asked. "I don't see a lot of progress in winning over skeptics within the Democratic Party."
Schultz fired back that he remembered a year ago when people in the room he was standing in were skeptical of the Trade Promotion Authority, but both Democrats and Republicans ended up getting on board. He argued that TPP will prevail due to its merits.