Clinton fans fears about trade with Salazar

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Hillary Clinton has rankled anti-trade groups by hiring former Sen. Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) as her transition team leader.
Salazar, who also served as secretary of the Interior Department under President Obama, has expressed support for the trade deal with 11 countries spanning the Pacific Rim.
{mosads}Neil Sroka, the communications director of Democracy for America, said that while Clinton’s choice of Salazar didn’t negate her stance against the TPP, the move wasn’t helpful less than a week after she firmed up her opposition to a lame-duck congressional vote on the deal.
“It’s not helping the concerns she’s trying to allay,” Sroka said. 
Democracy for America and other groups opposed to President Obama’s trade deal want Clinton to come out as forcefully as possible against a lame-duck vote.
She needs to say that “this vote doesn’t need to happen, shouldn’t happen and she will play a role in opposing it if it does,” Sroka said. 
Liberal groups praised Clinton’s speech last week as her strongest statement yet against the TPP.
Clinton backed the trade deal as Obama’s secretary of State, but shifted to opposition as she fought to win the Democratic presidential nomination against Sen. Bernie Sanders.
”I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages — including the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Clinton said in last week’s address. “I oppose it now, I’ll oppose it after the election and I’ll oppose it as president.”
Democracy for America and CREDO have backed a petition that called on Clinton to publicly oppose a lame-duck vote on the TPP. 
Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, says Clinton should publicly call on Obama to back away from the TPP.
“Now more than ever, Hillary Clinton should press the White House to take the TPP definitively off the table in the lame duck Congress,” Green said. 
Obama this month said he was still determined to win a vote on the trade agreement, which is both important to his economic agenda and to his foreign policy push for the U.S. pivot toward Asia.
Clinton also sparked some worries by picking Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine as her running mate. 
Kaine voted in favor of granting Obama fast-track authority, which makes it easier to negotiate trade deals, but came out against the TPP after joining the Clinton ticket.
It is also notable — and worrying to some groups on the left — that the Democratic platform does not oppose the TPP, despite efforts by Sanders and his supporters.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), a fierce opponent of the TPP, said she isn’t concerned about the Salazar appointment, when it comes to Clinton. 
“Secretary Clinton has made her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership very clear, having stated that she opposes the agreement now, will oppose it after the election, and will oppose it once in office,” DeLauro said in a statement.  
“Ken Salazar’s appointment does nothing to change her stance, and if anything, it shows that advocates for the corporate drafted agreement are willing to switch sides and work to build an economy that works for every American worker,” she said. 
Most Democrats in Congress are opposed to the sweeping Pacific deal and some pro-trade Republicans have come out against the TPP in its current form or have said that the lame-duck isn’t the time for a major vote on the 12-nation agreement. 
Salazar, who would help Clinton choose Cabinet and other top officials for her tenure, wrote a couple of op-eds last year hailing the benefits of the TPP for his home state of Colorado as well as the nation. 
In November, after the release of the TPP text, Salazar and Bruce Babbitt, another former Interior secretary, wrote an op-ed in USA Today calling the TPP “a strong trade deal that will level the playing field for workers to help middle-class families get ahead.” 
“It is also the greenest trade deal ever,” Salazar and Babbitt said.  “By including an environmental chapter with enforceable provisions, the TPP places the environment on equal footing with our economic agenda.”
In December, an op-ed in The Denver Post published from Salazar, former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Gov. Roy Romer focused on the importance of the TPP for growing Colorado’s economy.
“Current rules of international commerce stack the deck against our state, but opponents of this new deal have responded by turning inward, clamoring to turn back the clock and shutter ourselves from the increasingly interconnected economy,” they wrote.  
“But the TPP is about looking forward. It’s a deal that will rewrite the rules to even the playing field in the future … and Congress should pass the TPP.”
Tags Bernie Sanders Hillary Clinton Tim Kaine TPP Trade Trans-Pacific Partnership
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