Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren fired back at President Barack Obama a day after he said she was "wrong" about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a blog post on her website, Warren defended her stance and outlined her grievances against the proposed multinational trade deal.
"The Administration says I'm wrong - that there's nothing to worry about," Warren's post reads. "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."
According to the first-term senator, she has been told that the deal cannot be made public "because if the American people saw what was in it, they would be opposed to it". She countered that if the public would be opposed to the agreement, then it should not become law.
On 17 April, politicians in both congressional tax committees came to an agreement on a bill that granted Obama fast-track authority to negotiate a trade deal between the US and 11 Pacific Rim nations. The bill would give Congress the ability to vote on the TPP but would bar them from adding any amendments.
"Before we sign on to rush through a deal like that — no amendments, no delays, no ability to block a bad bill—the American people should get to see what's in it," Warren wrote.
However, the Obama administration has shot down criticism from congressional Democrats and labour unions. In an interview on MSNBC on 21 April, Obama said Warren and her allies were "wrong" about the proposed trade deal.
"I would not be doing this trade deal if I did not think it was good for the middle class. And when you hear folks make a lot of suggestions about how bad this trade deal is, when you dig into the facts they are wrong," Obama said.
However, Warren continued to argue that voters would be hurt if the TPP comes into fruition. "We've all seen the tricks and traps that corporations hide in the fine print of contracts. We've all seen the provisions they slip into legislation to rig the game in their favor. Now just imagine what they have done working behind closed doors with TPP," she said. "We can't keep the American people in the dark."