Hillary Clinton opposes Pacific Rim trade deal, breaking with Obama

World Today

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton in Sept. 22, 2015, file photo. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Hillary Rodham Clinton says she opposes the big Pacific Rim trade accord backed by President Barack Obama.

The Democratic presidential candidate says in an interview with the broadcaster PBS there are too many “unanswered questions” about the Trans-Pacific Partnership. She says, “What I know about it as of today, I am not in favor.”

Read more about the Trans Pacific Partnership

The free trade deal backed by the administration has been opposed by liberal Democrats and labor unions.

Clinton helped lay the foundation for the deal as Obama’s secretary of state.

She joins Democratic rivals Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, who warn it could lead to lost American jobs.

The pact is central to Obama’s attempt to engage with Asia to offset a rising Chinese influence in the region.

Earlier this year Clinton said she probably wouldn’t have voted to grant President Barack Obama so-called “fast track” negotiating authority that makes it easier to gain congressional approval.

Clinton and other Democrats are aggressively seeking union endorsements in the primary. Galen Munroe, a Teamsters spokesman, said opposition to TPP would be an important consideration. AFL-CIO labor federation strategic adviser Eric Hauser said defeating TPP is a key part of the higher-wages agenda his group will use to evaluate all candidates.

Designed to spur trade between Asia and the Western Hemisphere, TPP would alleviate more than 18,000 tariffs on U.S. exports, Obama has said. After a review period, Congress will eventually hold an yes or no vote on whether to ratify the deal.

Story by the Associated Press