- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Rep. Keith Ellison said Tuesday that Americans who opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and not necessarily President Trump, deserve the credit for the United States’ formal withdrawal from the trade pact.

“I’m pleased that the American people, over the course of years, raised up the problems with TPP, and I’m glad that their voices got heard, even if it was by somebody who cynically manipulated the issue for their own political advantage,” Mr. Ellison, Minnesota Democrat, said on CNN’s “New Day.”

“I give him credit for being a reader of the political tea leaves,” said Mr. Ellison, who is also a candidate to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Mr. Trump signed an executive order on Monday that formally pulled the United States out of the trade pact, which involved about a dozen Pacific Rim countries and had been championed by former President Obama.

“I think that in a democracy, it’s the people who get the credit, and the people drove this policy change to the point where now we’re not going to have to deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Mr. Ellison said.

“But what are we going to have to deal with next? [We’re] still going to have to have some kind of a policy,” he said. “And this is still a person who [as] a businessperson brought in ties, suits and a whole bunch of other stuff by using foreign, low-wage labor.”

“I guess that’s one of the reasons why I’m not fully persuaded that this is a cause for rejoicing,” Mr. Ellison said. “Mr. Trump does have a history of exploiting low-cost, foreign labor in order to sell his goods, and also has brought foreign workers into the United States to run his resort.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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