After initially offering up support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has withdrawn his backing ahead of a House vote to potentially approve a deal Friday.
In an interview on “The Hugh Hewitt Show” Wednesday, the 2016 candidate argued that much like the Ex-Im Bank, which Perry also supported until recently, the TPP has now become “an animal” that “needs to go away” at this point and time.
Perry had signaled his potential opposition to the TPP in May based on his lack of trust in President Barack Obama negotiating a trade deal.
“As you find out information, I don’t mind — just like the Ex-Im Bank, I believe that America has to be a competitor out there. I think we have to do everything we can to well our products around the world. But like the Ex-Im Bank, when it came to be abundantly clear of the fraud and corruption that was going on there, I finally said ‘listen, I can’t support you anymore,” Perry told Hewitt. “At this particular point and time, this thing needs to go away. And the TPP has now become that kind of an animal, if you will.”
“When you will not tell Congress and when you will not tell the American people what is in a trade agreement — Washington has a real issue with trust as it is, and when you try to pull that on the American people and we start hearing some of the things that are in there — with this president’s record of pulling some of the things he has done, we have to pass the bill so we’ll know out what’s in it type of rhetoric,” Perry continued. “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you pass Obamacare, the costs are going to go down…With that kind of record and not being honest and transparent with the American people, I think it’s just easier — well, I wouldn’t say easier, I think the wise thing to do is to say Mr. President, if you don’t trust the American people to know what’s in this trade deal, we don’t trust you enough to pass it.”
Perry had previously signaled reservations about a potential deal, as reported on May 19 by the Texas Tribune.
“I would rather Barack Obama not be negotiating for me right now, but he’s going to be there for about 20 more months, and this deal needs to be transparent, and that’s my greatest concern — is the lack of transparency in this piece of legislation,” Perry said. “Until the public and Congress are comfortable that they know what’s in this trade agreement, I’m not going to recommend that they sign it, and if we have to wait until there’s a new president, then that’s okay.”