- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 10, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Sunday came out in opposition to giving President Obama the authority to fast track a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim countries, breaking with the GOP’s free-trade agenda.

Mrs. Fiorina, a former chief executive officer of Hewlett Packard, insisted that she supports free trade but said she doesn’t trust Mr. Obama to make a good deal for American workers and businesses.

“The devil is usually in the details, and that is particularly true with this president. The truth is we don’t know what’s in this deal,” she said on NBC”s “Meet the Press.”

“This administration unfortunately has a track record of burying things in fine print … that turn out to be very different from their selling points,” said Mrs. Fiorina, who announced her White House bid last week.

The Senate this week is scheduled to take the first votes on fast-track authority, or trade promotion authority, which would make it much easier for the president to pass the 12-country Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.

The TPP is one of the few areas of agreement between the White House and the Republican-run Congress. But the deal is in jeopardy due to opposition by many Democrats who say it will result in more American jobs shipped overseas and undermine U.S. environmental laws.

Mrs. Fiorina’s remarks echoed Democratic criticism about the secrecy surrounding the trade deal negotiations, which are nearing completion.

She said lawmakers simply don’t know enough about the deal to give Mr. Obama fast-track power, which would allow lawmakers only an up-or-down vote on the deal and disallow a Senate filibuster of it.

“I think it’s important to understand some of the fine print of what’s in this deal,” she said.

She raised questions about whether China could someday join TPP, though Mr. Obama has tried to sell the deal as a way to counter China’s growing influence in the region. She said the China question is one of too many unknowns.

“I think the point is not that free trade is bad. Free trade is good for this nation,” said Mrs. Fiorina. “I think the point is, what exactly is in this agreement.”

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