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O'Malley Lauds House Vote Against Fast-Track Trade Authority

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Brady Carlson
/
NHPR
Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley speaks at a house party in New Castle, June 13, 2015.

Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley outlined his stances on trade issues in his latest campaign trip through New Hampshire.

Speaking Saturday at a house party in New Castle, O’Malley s applauded the recent vote in the US House against giving President Obama what’s known as fast-track trade authority, under which Congress would be able to ratify or reject, but not amend, trade agreements negotiated by the president. He said the public should get a chance to review proposed trade deals before Congress has to vote on them.

O'Malley is one of a number of Democrats opposed to fast-track authority because of concerns trade deals such as the proposed 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership would cause American workers to lose jobs.

“We have to stay engaged in the game,” he said of international trade. “But I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think that a trade deal that accelerates the offshoring of American jobs and American profits to Asia is somehow going to make us stronger at home.”

O’Malley took questions on a range of issues, from the US strategy on ISIS to the prospects for overhauling campaign finance law. He said he would begin to release more detailed policy statements in the coming weeks, including what he called “a new agenda for America’s cities and, also, a jobs agenda that’s a match for the climate challenge.”

On the environment, O’Malley pointed toward his climate proposals in Maryland, which included efforts to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, while trying to boost renewable energy production and green tech industries.

“We could be far more practical if instead of wrapping climate change in the banner of despair, instead of drawing straight lines between the science that lead us all to hell, that instead we imagine a new future and imagine this is something happening for us, and not something happening to us," O'Malley said. "In other words, that the imperative of a more secure and renewable energy future could just be the biggest jobs opportunity and business opportunity we’ve ever seen.”

One of O'Malley's rivals for the Democratic nomination, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is set to campaign in New Hampshire Monday.

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