05:16 GMT +328 September 2016
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 39th Annual Gala Dinner in Washington, DC, U.S. September 15, 2016

Clinton Free Trade Support Needs Further Explanation at Next Debate - US Senator

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Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton needs to better explain her position on free trade in the next presidential debate against Republican rival Donald Trump, US Senator Claire McCaskill told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — During the Monday night presidential debate, Trump attacked Clinton for endorsing the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement in 2012, when she referred to it as the "gold standard" of trade agreements. After the TPP deal was finalized in October 2015, Clinton announced her opposition to it.

"I think she could probably explain that a little more in the next debate," McCaskill, a Democrat, said on Tuesday when asked about Trump’s criticism of Clinton's past support for free-trade deals.

"I think [Clinton] explained her standard on trade deals, that she looked at each individual one… and once she saw TPP she was against it," McCaskill said.

The senator added that in the future, Clinton has to "further drive home" her stance on trade so the public understands it.

In the Monday debate, Trump also accused Clinton of rejecting the TPP agreement only after seeing the wave of opposition to the deal.

Trump as well as Clinton’s former Democratic rival, US Senator Bernie Sanders, were able to mobilize opponents of the TPP agreement and the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) advocated by former President Bill Clinton. Trump has repeatedly said that NAFTA has decimated US jobs and industries.

Opponents of US free-trade argue that agreements like NAFTA and TPP only benefit large corporations and send millions of high-paying US manufacturing jobs overseas.

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Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Hillary Clinton, United States
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