- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a leading Democratic opponent of a trade deal with Pacific Rim nations that is being pushed by the Obama administration, says she’d like to see 2016 Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton be more clear in her position on it.

During a campaign stop Tuesday in Iowa, Mrs. Clinton did not take a definitive position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but did say she’s concerned about a provision that would give “corporations more power to overturn health and environmental and labor rules than consumers have.”

“I want to judge the final agreement. I have been for trade agreements; I have been against trade agreements,” Mrs. Clinton said, CNN reported.

But Ms. Warren told Bloomberg that as she understands it, Mrs. Clinton isn’t allowed to see the final version “because all of this has been held in secret.”

“What I’m saying is I think that’s a reason not to support this greasing the skids so that we vote so that there won’t be any amendments eventually, so that it can pass with a lower vote threshold,” Ms. Warren said. “I think that’s why it’s so important not to pass a ‘grease the skids’ bill.”

The Senate is weighing whether or not to grant President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which would allow him to send such trade deals to Congress for an up-or-down vote without the opportunity for amendments.

Ms. Warren pointed out Mrs. Clinton’s concerns with the so-called investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision in the deal that critics say could allow corporations to challenge countries’ regulations through an independent arbiter.

“She has already said that she is opposed to that, and I’d like to see her be clearer on that,” she said.

Liberal groups are trying to cajole Ms. Warren into running for president in 2016 as an alternative to Mrs. Clinton, but she has said repeatedly she is not running.

Asked if Mrs. Clinton does not oppose the plan, whether Ms. Warren would consider that in whether she endorses her candidacy, she replied: “What I think you’re asking me is does this matter to me? The answer is it matters to millions of workers across this country.”

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