US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has spoken out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. She said the proposed pact between 12 Pacific Rim countries did not address currency manipulation.
Speaking at a campaign event on Wednesday, Clinton said she had hoped the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have "enforceable provisions" related to currency manipulation.
"I give President Obama and his team a great deal of credit for taking on this complicated negotiation. At the end of the day I do not believe it does meet my criteria," said Clinton.
The partnership, a proposed trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, has been under discussion for the last five years. An agreement was reached on October 5 to lower trade tariffs, establish a common framework for intellectual property, enforce standards for labor law and environmental law and set up an investor-state dispute settlement mechanism.
It is separate from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a series of trade negotiations being carried out between the European Union and the US.
On Tuesday, the first Democratic debate for the 2016 presidential election was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The CNN debate, co-sponsored by Facebook, went on for two hours and attracted more than 15 million viewers. Clinton was seen to dominate the discussion, along with liberal candidate Bernie Sanders.
Clinton first announced her opposition to the proposed trade deal last week in a television interview. Her views put her alongside labor unions and fellow Democratic candidates Sanders and Martin O'Malley, who have also expressed their opposition.
"I have been trying to learn as much as I can about the agreement," she said. "But I'm worried. I'm worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement. We've lost American jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I'm worried the pharmaceutical companies may have gotten more benefits - and patients and consumers fewer. I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions."
Her position puts her in opposition to the White House and Vice President Joe Biden, who is still considering his position as a possible Democratic presidential candidate.
In her most recent book, Clinton criticized a key provision of the deal known as "Investor-State Dispute Settlement" which would allow corporations to challenge domestic laws and regulations before an international tribunal.
jm/cmk (Reuters, AP)