Trade deal divides GOP candidates on stage

A couple of Republican presidential candidates on Tuesday night renewed their support for a sweeping Pacific Rim trade deal.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush each offered support for the pact negotiated by the Obama administration during the Fox Business Network debate in Milwaukee, while businessman Donald TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote READ: Liz Cheney's speech on the House floor Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' MORE and Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate panel deadlocks in vote on sweeping elections bill Senate descends into hours-long fight over elections bill Ocasio-Cortez hits Yang over scrapped Eid event: 'Utterly shameful' MORE (R-Texas) said they would oppose the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).


“The trade agreement, the TPP, it’s critical to us, not only for economic reasons and for jobs, because there’s so many people connected to getting jobs because of trade, but it allows us to create not only economic alliances but also potentially strategic alliances against the Chinese,” Kasich said.

“They’re not our enemy, but they’re certainly not our friend,” he said.

Bush took a jab at Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchumer: 'The big lie is spreading like a cancer' among GOP America departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump MORE for opposing the TPP and the Keystone XL pipeline, saying “all the things that would create sustained economic growth, she’s now doubling down against it.”

Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate votes to repeal OCC 'true lender' rule Democrats cool on Crist's latest bid for Florida governor Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Fla.) have announced their support for the expansive TPP deal.

Trump called the TPP “a horrible deal” and said Congress shouldn't approve it.

“It is a deal that is going to lead to nothing but trouble,” Trump said.

“It was a deal designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: Biden announces 1M have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period | Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins | Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins Tim Scott sparks buzz in crowded field of White House hopefuls MORE (R-Ky.) reminded the panel and the candidates that China isn’t part of the agreement.

Trump said he would rather not have the TPP at all and would prefer to "make individual deals with individual countries."

He said that if the TPP is approved, it will create more job losses, a rallying cry for Democrats opposed to the TPP.

Trump also argued that currency manipulation isn’t discussed in the agreement.

But there is a side agreement between the participating nations that require reporting, monitoring and consulting on exchange rates.