WASHINGTON Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, former Secretary of State and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has been criticized by both sides of the aisle for her stance on free trade. In particular, her past support for multilateral trade agreements such as NAFTA while she was first lady and her support for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) while she was secretary of state.
During his interview with Clinton, "Face the Nation" host John Dickerson asked her to respond to critiques by Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as by presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Both have suggested that the people writing trade deals have no understanding of how the deals harm regular people.
"I do believe in trade." Clinton said, going on to explain, "We are five percent of the world's population. We have to trade with the other 95 percent. That has on balance been a net plus for our economy."
The former secretary of state told Dickerson that she has "called for a trade prosecutor to report directly to the president," and warned of people that take advantage of our markets.
"We need to be much more affirmative in stopping them from doing that." She said.
This stands in contradiction to what Sanders said on "Face the Nation" in an interview last year. Dickerson asked the Vermont senator if he agreed with President Obama's position that expanding trade would help the service industry and open new markets.
"Since 2001, we have lost almost 60,000 factories and millions of good-paying jobs," Sanders said, adding, "I'm not saying trade is the only reason, but it is a significant reason why Americans are working longer hours for low wages and why we are seeing our jobs go to China and other low-wage countries."
Sanders instead offered trade policy that "represents the working families of this country, that rebuilds our manufacturing base, not than just representing the CEOs of large multinational corporations."
On the other side of the aisle Donald Trump has offered criticisms of our current trade deals calling them a "disaster."
"I'm a free trader," Trump declared in an interview from last June, and he added, "The problem with free trade is, you need smart people representing you. We have the greatest negotiators in the world, but we don't use them. We use political hacks and diplomats. We use the wrong people."
Clinton told Dickerson Sunday that she would clarify that as a senator she voted against the only multinational trade agreement and called to renegotiate NAFTA during her first presidential bid. While Clinton was an initial supporter of the Trans Pacific Partnership, she has changed her stance during her current presidential bid.
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