Bernie Was Right to Oppose the Panama Free Trade Agreement

Bernie opposed the 2011 Panama Free Trade Agreement because he was worried it would increasingly allow wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. Now with the release of the Panama Papers it appears he was right. They show that over 214,000 offshore companies are using Panama to evade taxes. That is unacceptable, and that has got to change.

Posted by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders on Monday, April 4, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie SandersBernie SandersJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats on edge as Iowa points to chaotic race Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal MORE is reminding voters that in 2011, he was vocal about the use of tax havens in Panama to evade taxes. 

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Sanders now says the leaked “Panama Papers” — which reveal explosive new details about wealthy and powerful public figures concealing their fortunes — prove he was right. 

Sanders' campaign on Monday posted a video to Facebook of a floor speech he gave in 2011 opposing the U.S.-Panama free trade agreement.

“It turns out, Mr. President, that Panama is a world leader when it comes to allowing large corporations and wealthy Americans to evade U.S. taxes, by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens. And the Panama free trade agreement would make this bad situation much worse,” Sanders said in the speech. 

"Bernie opposed the 2011 Panama Free Trade Agreement because he was worried it would increasingly allow wealthy Americans and large corporations to evade U.S. taxes by stashing their cash in offshore tax havens," the text of the post below the video said.

"Now with the release of the Panama Papers it appears he was right. They show that over 214,000 offshore companies are using Panama to evade taxes. That is unacceptable, and that has got to change."

Sanders and 21 other Democratic senators voted against the agreement in October 2011, according to the Huffington Post. Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton3 ways government can help clean up Twitter Intelligence Democrat: Stop using 'quid pro quo' to describe Trump allegations The Memo: Bloomberg's 2020 moves draw ire from Democrats MORE praised the agreement at the time. 

Sanders slammed Clinton's support of the agreement on Tuesday. 

"My opponent, on the other hand, opposed this trade agreement when she was running against Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaJuan Williams: Honesty, homophobia and Mayor Pete Democrats debate how to defeat Trump: fight or heal 3 ways government can help clean up Twitter MORE for president in 2008," Sanders' campaign said in a statement. "But when it really mattered she quickly reversed course and helped push the Panama Free Trade Agreement through Congress as Secretary of State. The results have been a disaster."  

- This story was updated at 4:41 p.m.