News analysis

Free trade critics hold sway during Democratic presidential debates

Despite being a key advocate for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during the Obama administration, former US vice-president and Democratic Party front runner Joe Biden publicly withdrew his support for the original trade pact on Wednesday and said he would back only a renegotiated one.

"I would not rejoin the TPP as it was initially put forward," said Mr Biden during the second round of the Democratic presidential primary debates, where 20 hopefuls vied for voters and donors in their quest to clinch the party's nomination to run against incumbent President Donald Trump next year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Free trade critics hold sway during Democratic presidential debates'. Subscribe