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Future of TPP lies with US presidential nominees

Reporter: Jessica Stone 丨 CCTV.com

07-29-2016 10:34 BJT

Both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates say that they oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. But recent comments from Hillary Clinton's top aides have cast doubt over whether she'll change her mind on the largest regional trade pact in history.

Candidate Hillary Clinton may not be able to reverse her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership even if she wanted to.

At the Democratic National Convention, TPP was a lightning rod for delegates representing working class voters-part of the party's traditional base. They say the agreement favors corporations over workers.

Just days earlier, America's top Democrat - President Barack Obama - explained why T-P-P won't be a repeat of NAFTA-the North American Free Trade Agreement that many Americans blame for the loss of jobs and stagnant wages.

 "A number of the provisions inside of the Trans-Pacific Partnership address some previous criticisms of NAFTA and will make what is already an extraordinarily strong economic relationship between our two countries even stronger," Obama said.

Hillary Clinton helped negotiate TPP, then changed her mind.

"So are you saying that as of today, this is not something you could support?"

"What I know about it. As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it," Hillary Clinton said.

Republican candidate Donald Trump is trying to appeal to disaffected Democrats by vowing to stop the deal.

"I am going to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified," Trump said.

A lot is at stake. The 12 Pacific Rim nations that signed TPP boast a combined economic output of around 28 trillion dollars. That's roughly 40 percent of the entire planet's output and a third of world trade.

But the focus of working class Americans is more local than global. If they believe TPP threatens their jobs, they'll vote for any candidate opposing it.

Labor unions and environmentalists are among the 15-hundred domestic groups that have called on the U.S. Congress to reject TPP. And with both major party candidates saying they won't support it, the partnership could dissolve before it ever takes effect.

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