On Friday, the House of Representatives issued a stunning rebuke  to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the 12-nation deal that expands corporate and investor commerce rights at the expense of workers and the environment.
However, the fight over the TPP is not over, with the House set to vote once again on the trade adjustment package it rejected on either Monday or Tuesday. There’s furious lobbying between public interest groups on one side and corporate firms on the other, with an outcome that is expected to come down to the wire.
One figure who has stayed notably silent on the whole affair is Hillary Clinton. As Secretary of State, Clinton was a negotiator on the agreement, but as a candidate for the president, she has refused to say how she would vote on the Fast Track bill currently before Congress. If the bill passes, passage of the wider agreement is all but certain.
Over the weekend, various Clinton spokespeople were quizzed about her position on the vote in Congress. They all struggled to explain why she refuses to give a position.
Brian Fallon, Clinton spokesman, appeared on MSNBC Saturday and wanted to talk about every issue except the one he was actually asked about:
KORNACKI: Lincoln Chafee, who is going to be one of Hillary Clinton’s opponents in the Democratic Primary, said she should take a position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership….so what is the position?
FALLON:So here’s what you’re going to hear from Hillary Clinton today, she’s going to lay out a bold progressive agenda…a series of issues that include college affordability, wage growth, paid leave, early childhood education…
Note that he didn’t mention TPP in his response. Kornacki followed up and asked Fallon why Clinton won’t take a stand on TPP. Fallon replied that Clinton wants to “see the finalized language,” saying that the vote in Congress was on a procedural issue and not the underlying agreement, which makes little sense because if Fast Track passes, so does the TPP.