Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump argued Tuesday for scrapping a 12-nation Pacific trade deal, calling it the "greatest danger yet" to US jobs.
Trump said he would withdraw the US from the Tran-Pacific Partnership, which was agreed last year but has yet to be ratified by the US Congress, and also railed against the North America Free Trade Agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada that went into effect during Bill Clinton's presidency.
"The Trans-Pacific Partnership is the greatest danger yet," Trump said in a speech outlining his economic policies at an aluminium recycling factory in Pennsylvania.
Trump charged the deal pushed by President Barack Obama would "be the death blow for American manufacturing" by eroding US economic leverage and forcing US workers to compete with low-cost labour from Vietnam and other countries.
Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, was an advocate of the deal while serving as secretary of state, but has since backed away from it amid rising anti-trade sentiment among voters, a position Trump charged she had taken because of him. Clinton's campaign meanwhile pointed out that Trump himself had manufactured goods sold under his name overseas.
The Obama administration sees the TPP deal as a means to write the economic and trade rules in the region amid rising Chinese influence, but Trump insisted that China would benefit from the agreement and "enter the TPP through the backdoor at a later date."
Congressional leaders have indicated they will put off a vote on the TPP deal agreed among member countries last year until after November presidential and legislative elections.
The 30-chapter TPP agreement includes the elimination and reduction of about 18,000 tariffs on industrial and agricultural goods, including textiles and clothing; rules on trade in services and financial goods; and commitments on the free flow of Internet and digital commerce.
It sets out rules for patents, trademarks and other intellectual property across the trade zone, including specific provisions about pharmaceuticals, and enforces labour and environmental standards.