Elizabeth Warren Strikes Back at Obama For Calling Her ‘Wrong’ On Trade

After the Obama administration called Warren out, Democrats came back in force.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 18: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) speaks during a presser to announce his nomination of former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (not pictured) as head of the in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau while U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner (L), and Special Advisor on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Elizabeth Warren (C) listen in the Rose Garden at the White House on July 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. The new bureau was created under a reform bill last year and intends to make basic financial practices such as taking out a mortgage or loan more clear and transparent to consumers while weeding out unfair lending practices. 
National Journal
Eric Garcia
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Eric Garcia
April 22, 2015, 8:10 a.m.

Sen. Eliza­beth War­ren and oth­er mem­bers of the Demo­crat­ic caucus showed the White House they are not go­ing to let trade le­gis­la­tion pass without a fight, after fa­cing cri­ti­cism from the pres­id­ent for their op­pos­i­tion.

On Tues­day, Obama cri­ti­cized the pro­gress­ive fa­vor­ite over her op­pos­i­tion­al stance on the 12-na­tion Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship, say­ing: “I love Eliza­beth. We’re al­lies on a whole host of is­sues. But she’s wrong on this.” The state­ments were part of a lar­ger split between the White House and Demo­crats in Con­gress over trade agree­ments and the way they’re be­ing handled.

In a re­sponse Wed­nes­day, War­ren hit back at the White House in a state­ment on her web­site, say­ing that the ad­min­is­tra­tion has been con­duct­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship ne­go­ti­ations out of the pub­lic eye.

(RE­LATED: Eliza­beth War­ren’s New Agenda for Demo­crats on Fin­an­cial Re­form

“The ad­min­is­tra­tion says I’m wrong—that there’s noth­ing to worry about,” she wrote. “They say the deal is nearly done, and they are mak­ing a lot of prom­ises about how the deal will af­fect work­ers, the en­vir­on­ment, and hu­man rights. Prom­ises—but people like you can’t see the ac­tu­al deal.”

War­ren also hit the ad­min­is­tra­tion on its de­sire to pass Trade Pro­mo­tion Au­thor­ity, also known as “fast-track au­thor­ity,” which would make trade deals like the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship sub­ject to an up-or-down vote, without the abil­ity to amend.

“If most of the trade deal is good for the Amer­ic­an eco­nomy, but there’s a pro­vi­sion hid­den in the fine print that could help mul­tina­tion­al cor­por­a­tions ship Amer­ic­an jobs over­seas or al­low for wa­ter­ing down of en­vir­on­ment­al or labor rules, fast track would mean that Con­gress couldn’t write an amend­ment to fix it,” she wrote.

(RE­LATED: Pro­gress­ives and Eliza­beth War­ren Die-Hards Are Pre­par­ing for Life With Hil­lary Clin­ton)

War­ren had pre­vi­ously penned an op-ed in The Wash­ing­ton Post on TPP, say­ing one as­pect of the trade deal could weak­en labor and en­vir­on­ment­al stand­ards, which led to the ad­min­is­tra­tion re­spond­ing to the con­cerns raised. Then again, last month after a con­fer­ence call about the same sub­ject, the White House put out a fact sheet dis­put­ing War­ren’s state­ments.

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