11/6/15, "Ben Carson Backs White House’s TPP Trade Deal," Wall St. Journal, Reid J. Epstein
"Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Friday that he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiated by the White House – aligning himself more with the GOP’s establishment wing than with the social conservatives who have powered his campaign.
Mr. Carson’s backing of the 12-nation Pacific trade deal places him
at odds with Donald Trump, his chief rival for support among
anti-establishment Republicans. Mr. Carson had expressed skepticism
about the TPP, saying in a June interview with the Huffington Post that he would not give President Barack Obama “fast-track” authority to negotiate the deal.
Now, a day after the White House posted the text of the TPP deal
online, Mr. Carson’s campaign said Friday that he supports the final
Mr. Carson, spokesman Doug Watts said, “believes the agreement does
help to level the playing field in key markets and is important to
improve our ties to trading partners in Asia as a counterbalance to
China’s influence in the region.” Mr. Watts said Mr. Carson is “now
inclined to support TPP, with reservations.”
Mr. Carson’s new support for the trade deal comes as the Republican
Party’s decades-long support for free trade is splintering. Mr. Trump is
leading a wing of anti-trade candidates that includes social
conservatives Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas,
who had backed the “fast-track” legislation aimed at expediting TPP approval, backed away from the bill because he said Republicans couldn’t
trust Mr. Obama and said approving the deal would open American
companies to increased foreign competition and boost illegal
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the Wall Street Journal
last month that he opposes the TPP unless it includes enforceable rules
to prevent currency manipulation.
Still backing the trade legislation are the party’s establishment wing candidates: Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida and Govs. John Kasich of Ohio and Chris Christie of New Jersey."