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It’s been more than a month since Hillary Clinton announced her presidential campaign and she is still has not specifically taken a stand on the controversial trade bill that is pitting Democrats against each other and is once again on the Senate floor this week.
While she still didn't take a position, Clinton did expand on previous remarks on the trade deal Tuesday on the second day of her second swing through Iowa. In addition to what she said before, that environmental and worker protections must be part of the deal, she added that safeguards against currency manipulation, a common practice in China that benefits their economy and hurts its trading partners, must also be a part of the deal. And channeling a major concern of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who many progressives are pushing Clinton to be more like, Clinton said for the first time there must be protections against the ability to overturn financial regulations.
"I want to judge the final agreement. I have been for trade agreement; I have against trade agreements. I've tried to make the evaluation depending upon what I thought they would produce, and that's what i'm waiting to see," she said.
While the former secretary of state remains mostly mum on trade, she has taken a position on some of the key topics of the day, but on her own terms through highly scripted messages via social media, planned events or press statements.
She has faced criticism for not holding a news conference, conducting a sit-down interview with a reporter and only answering about a dozen questions from the press. (After mounting criticism, she took several questions from the press in Iowa on Tuesday.)
The positions she has willingly taken have enabled her to position herself favorably as she moves through the nomination process, which is likely to be hers for the winning.
But the 12-country trade deal has led to an intraparty fight. It’s a difficult issue that, depending on her position, would put her on the side of President Barack Obama and business or a more liberal wing of the party that is pushing her to adopt a more populist message.
Her Democratic challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has also announced his run for the president, knocked Clinton for not taking a position.
"You can't be on the fence of this one," Sanders said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. "You're either for it or you're against it. No fence-sitting on this one.”
Here is a list of issues that Clinton has addressed since the trade deal passed out of a Senate committee on April 23 – 11 days after Clinton announced her presidential campaign.