Commenting on an issue that has caused a division in her party, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said that drug companies that benefit from a Pacific trade pact should sell their products at discounted prices to the U.S. government.
On Friday, part of a trade deal that President Barack Obama is looking to negotiate with Pacific Rim countries was rejected by House Democrats.
At her campaign stop in Burlington, Iowa, Clinton said, “I have held my peace because I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it. But now I think the president and his team could have the chance to drive a harder bargain.”
According to U.S. News and World Report, she said that she thinks the Obama administration should “drive a harder bargain.”
U.S. drug companies that will reap profits by increasing their foreign sales should sell their products at heavy discounts to government programs like Medicare health plans for the elderly.
“Our drug companies, if they are going to get what they want, they should give more to America,” she said, as reported by Reuters.
On matters of trade, Clinton urged that Obama listen to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D), who has taken an opposite stand on Obama’s free trade negotiations.
During her rally on the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Clinton said, “Let me say a word about another issue. There’s a lot of discussion right now about the potential Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Deal, and I want to tell you what I want to be in that deal.”
Clinton said that if she was to back a deal, it must fulfill three requirements: protecting American workers, increasing wages, and being in the national security interest of the United States.
According to ABC News, she said, “In order to get a deal that meets these high standards, the president should listen to and work with his allies in colleagues — starting with Nancy Pelosi — who have expressed their concerns about the impact a weak agreement would have on our workers, to make sure we get the best, strongest deal possible.
“And if we don’t get it, there should be no deal.”
The Democratic presidential front-runner has articulated her concerns regarding free trade in the past. As President Obama’s Secretary of State, her role in talks with 11 countries that were involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was pivotal.
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