Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton says that based on what she’s read so far she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord backed by President Barack Obama.
Clinton said in an interview with PBS there are too many “unanswered questions” about the Pacific Rim deal.
“What I know about it, as of today, I am not in favour,” Clinton said. “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
Clinton had worked on the deal as secretary of state in the Obama administration.
Twelve nations, including Canada, reached a tentative deal on the massive free trade agreement on Monday. The TPP deal covers roughly 40 per cent of the world’s economy.
Clinton joins Democratic contenders Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley who warn it could lead to job losses in the United States.
The opposition among the Democratic presidential field leaves Obama in an awkward position as he tries to pass the deal through Congress, a deal the White House sees as a key piece of his presidential legacy.
Some Republican lawmakers may be hesitant to vote for the deal if they don’t like the final details, as free-trade pacts are unpopular with some voters who believe jobs could be shipped overseas.
Obama will also have to watch a Democratic debate next week where none of the major candidates are willing to defend the deal.
TPP a Canadian election issue
The TPP deal has also emerged as an election issue in Canada. The New Democrats have said they oppose the deal Canada has signed on to, with the Liberals saying they want to see the final details of the agreement.
“Stephen Harper is selling out our auto workers, sacrificing our farming families, making prescription drugs more expensive, risking our Canadian culture. Stephen Harper has to come clean and has to release the full text ahead of the election,” Mulcair said Monday following the announcement of the deal.
Trudeau said if elected his party would “look carefully at the elements of this deal to ensure that it is in the best interests of Canadians.”
Conservative leader Stephen Harper has touted the deal as an historic agreement that would open Canada to new markets.
“We clearly have a deal we think we should be a part of. So that is the deal, and the decision for the next parliament will be to ratify and implement or not,” Harper said. “Our view is that this deal is without any doubt whatsoever in the best interest of the Canadian economy.”