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Kaine’s Convention Moment Comes Amid Doubts on Free-Trade Stance

  • Like Clinton, VP nominee only recently came out against TPP
  • Virginian has said he’s ‘really passionate’ about free trade
Senator Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton, presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, celebrate at the end of her speech during a campaign event at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016.

Senator Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton, presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, celebrate at the end of her speech during a campaign event at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Virginia, on July 14, 2016.

Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine will introduce himself Wednesday night to a national audience that may be skeptical about his sudden conversion on trade, an issue that has roiled the party’s convention this week.

Like Hillary Clinton, Kaine is a long-time backer of free-trade deals who has come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership only recently. But the issue is fraught for Democrats, who have watched as Donald Trump has made his opposition to TPP and other trade deals a centerpiece of his efforts to court disaffected Democrats and independents who have seen stagnant wages for decades.