Free trade cam­paign weapon for US pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates

Asian Journal - - World -

Wash­ing­ton: Amid a do­mes­tic con­tro­versy on free trade, US pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates of both Democrats and the Repub­li­cans have been pub­licly op­pos­ing the Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) pact to woo vot­ers, util­is­ing the is­sue to gain political in­ter­ests for them­selves. “The rhetoric of the 2016 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign has ef­fec­tively weaponised free trade,” US political news or­gan­i­sa­tion Politico said in an ar­ti­cle. Dur­ing a cam­paign event in Youngstown, Ohio, on Satur­day, Hil­lary Clin­ton said she sup­ports tougher trade rules re­gard­ing the auto in­dus­try, crit­i­cis­ing auto pro­vi­sions in the 12-na­tion TPP pact, Xin­hua re­ported. Clin­ton’s hard stance aims to pre­vent Demo­cratic ri­val Bernie San­ders, a sharp trade critic, from win­ning over more vot­ers in the com­ing pri­maries, with the next one to be held on Tues­day in Ohio. The an­nounce­ment is a step to­ward strength­en­ing her po­si­tion on trade is­sues fol­low­ing Clin­ton’s loss in Michi­gan last week, which may have been driven by San­ders’ anti-trade mes­sage, the Wash­ing­ton Post said in an ar­ti­cle. Clin­ton has been fiercely crit­i­cised by San­ders over her past sup­port of trade deals, in­clud­ing the TPP pact, a deal she once ad­vo­cated as sec­re­tary of state, and the North Amer­ica Free Trade Agree­ment (NAFTA) signed in the 1990s, when her hus­band was pres­i­dent.

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