But Clinton, who has been under pressure to clarify her stance, left herself plenty of wiggle room on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track trade authority.
While nodding left, Clinton's reported comments leave her room to maneuver politically on the trade pact that labor unions and environmentalists bitterly oppose. And according to press reports, Clinton did not explicitly say where she stands on granting fast-track powers that progressives similarly dislike.
Look for Clinton, who "officially" launched her ongoing campaign with a speech in New York City on Saturday, to face continued pressure from the left to take a harder stance on trade.
"We still need her to come out and specifically say Congress needs to see the full text of TPP and have ample time to review it before there is an actual vote on TPA," CREDO Action's Murshed Zaheed told MSNBC, referring to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade promotion authority, the formal name for fast-track.
Clinton's remarks came just hours after several surrogates for the former senator and secretary of State deflected journalists' push for details about her trade stance and whether she backs fast-track. The House is slated to take up the fast-track battle again in coming days.
Karen Finney, a Clinton communications adviser and spokesperson, sought to focus a Fox News Sunday interview on how Clinton will size up the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other deals, saying they must protect and aid workers and affect national security interests.
But despite pressure to weigh in—rival candidate Bernie Sanders recently said Clinton should weigh in on trade "right now," and progressives are getting increasingly frustrated by her hesitance to do so—Finney held firm in refusing to give an indication of where Clinton stands on the fast-track powers vital to getting the Asian trade deal through, saying that Clinton is "focused on the specifics" of what would be in a final deal.
Joel Benenson, a Clinton campaign strategist, pushed back against the notion that Clinton has not provided a firm position on trade.
"Secretary Clinton has been very clear that what matters is what's in the final deal. And there is no final trade pact yet," he said on ABC's This Week. "There's a lot of congressional jockeying going on right now over things like TAA and TPP, acronyms that no voter understands." When asked directly by host George Stephanopoulos if Clinton believes Obama should have fast-track authority, Benenson brushed off the question as "Washington inside baseball."
On Meet the Press, John Podesta, chair of Clinton's campaign, repeated the line that Clinton has been "very clear about where she stands on trade" without saying anything more on how she currently views the fast-track or general trade fight in the House. When the trade agreement is final, Podesta said, "she'll render a judgement."