Sanders takes jab at Clinton over trade deal

Sanders takes jab at Clinton over trade deal

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders will 'absolutely' work with Trump to lower prescription drug costs Sanders says he will introduce 'Medicare for all' bill Sunday shows preview: Aftermath of failed healthcare bill MORE (I-Vt.) took a jab at front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonHuma Abedin 'working hard' on marriage with Anthony Weiner: report Mark Cuban: My political future 'depends on how things play out' Democrats step up calls that Russian hack was act of war MORE over previous comments that a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal set a "gold standard" for trade agreements.

Sanders, who has long opposed the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), said after the release of the text early Thursday that "it is clear to me that the proposed agreement is not, nor has it ever been, the gold standard of trade agreements."

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The senator from Vermont was referring to remarks Clinton made about the TPP in 2012 while she was secretary of State.

During that visit to Australia three years ago, Clinton said, "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."

But Clinton made a 180-degree turn after the deal was announced a month ago, saying the 12-nation agreement had fallen short of the high bar she set.

"My standards were for more new, good jobs for Americans, for raising wages for Americans," she said during the first Democratic debate.

"And I want to make sure that I can look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say, ‘This will help raise your wages.’ And I concluded I could not."

Sanders said the deal was "even worse than I thought," echoing comments made by other Democrats and labor unions who came out in opposition to the agreement.

He vowed to "do everything [he] can to defeat the TPP."

"We need trade policies in this country that work for the working families of our nation and not just the CEOs of large, multi-national corporations," Sanders said.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who also has been a vocal opponent of TPP, said Thursday that “after seven years of secret negotiations, this massive deal appears to be even worse for the American public than we had feared."

"Its main problems can be simply stated: It would have us do more business with several low wage countries that have undemocratic regimes and rampant human and labor rights abuses, and it would cost Americans their jobs and reduce wages," she said.