The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Lindsay Meiman, (347) 460-9082

Clinton Opposes Trans-Pacific Partnership, Would Instead Focus On Enforcing Paris Climate Agreement

Kingstree, SC

The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is a climate disaster that would give dangerous new powers to the fossil fuel industry, according to 350 Action. As Super Tuesday quickly approaches, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stressed the importance of enforcing the Paris climate agreement, and promoting clean jobs and strong incomes, over supporting the toxic Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

When asked by Carolina Arias, a student and fossil fuel divestment campaigner at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, on what Clinton would do to make sure we do not support trade deals that exacerbate climate change, the former Secretary of State was quick to express her opposition to the TPP, and to explain that instead efforts must focus on enforcing the Paris climate deal.

"Clinton has previously said she would not support the TPP as it's written now, and today she got more specific about the harm that the deal would pose to our climate and working people," said Yong Jung Cho, Campaign Coordinator with 350 Action. "Trade deals like NAFTA and TPP are bad for climate change. The TPP would expand the rules that TransCanada is currently using to sue the US government for $15 billion over the rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground, not implement trade deals that empower the very industry that exacerbates the crisis."

The Trans-Pacific Partnership was recently signed in New Zealand by the twelve participating countries. Both labor unions and environmentalists have regarded the trade deal as a fossil fuel industry handout, a threat to workers' rights, and a serious affront to democracy.

There's something in the air...

The Paris climate agreement, signed last December by nearly 200 world governments, sent a major signal to financial markets and global institutions that the end of the fossil fuel era is here. As President, Clinton says she would spend an "enormous [amount of] time and energy" to enforce the agreement, citing that "it's our best chance to turn the world around before it's too late," and elaborates by talking about current impacts.

"It's definitely promising to hear Clinton declare her commitment to enforcing the Paris climate deal," said Cho. "But Clinton cannot support global agreements to combat climate change while in the same breath approving trade deals that will allow unfettered fossil fuel expansion."


Full Transcript:

Carolina Arias: As president, what would you do to make sure we do not support trade deals like that exacerbate climate change?

Hillary Clinton: Well, you know, I'm against the Trans-Pacific trade deal because I don't think it meets the criteria that it should, but that's at least in my view. It doesn't provide clean jobs or high enough incomes for people.

Now we do have a Paris agreement. So we have an agreement now, finally, on climate change. That, I think, has to be focus of our efforts. In order to push forward on what countries have agreed to in Paris, I will spend an enormous time and energy to make sure that happens. So the trade deals, I'm not supporting the TPP. We have to enforce trade deals. I think that the environment and health are part of that enforcement. But now we really need to put our efforts into enforcing and carrying out the Paris climate deal because that gives us the best chance to bring world around before it's too late, and we have a lot of evidence that sea levels are rising, the climate's getting warming. We're seeing the effects right now. We cannot wait. This is not just an issue for academics and activists, this is an issue for everyone, especially in coastal states like South Carolina.

350 Action is the independent political action arm of the non-profit, non-partisan climate justice group