On trade, Democrats increase pressure on Hillary – CNN

(CNN)Hillary Clinton took a wait-and-see approach Friday to a new trade deal being considered by the Obama administration, and that has roiled Democrats who may challenge her for the party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

In a statement about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a Clinton spokesman said that the presidential candidate believes any trade deal needs to protect American workers while also strengthening national security.

“We should be willing to walk away from any outcome that falls short of these tests,” Nick Merrill said. “She will be watching closely to see what is being done to crack down on currency manipulation, improve labor rights, protect the environment and health, promote transparency, and open new opportunities for our small businesses to export overseas.”

Lawmakers on the House and Senate’s tax-writing committees brokered a deal Thursday that made it easier for President Barack Obama to pass the TPP, much to the dismay of liberals—particularly unions—who believe the deal is bad for American workers and wages.

The decision would give Obama more authority to quickly pass trade deals like the TPP, a massive, 12-country new pact that that would be the biggest trade deal in history.

During a press conference on Friday, Obama said “the politics around trade have always been tough, particularly in the Democratic Party,” but defended the deal because it would open foreign markets to American products.

Despite Clinton’s campaign stating that the former secretary of state would be watching for how the TPP will address currency manipulation, it seems unlikely that the deal would touch upon the issue. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and his negotiating team have said conversations about the practice of countries driving down the value of their currency are best left to the Treasury Department—a clear indication that the issue of currency manipulation won’t be addressed in the final Trans-Pacific Partnership.