July 29, 2016 / 3:56 PM / a year ago

Obama to showcase TPP after trade deal demonized by other Democrats

WASHINGTON, July 29 (Reuters) - During a state visit from Singapore’s prime minister on Tuesday, President Barack Obama on Tuesday will extol the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal that his fellow Democrats demonized at their convention this week.

Obama wants the U.S. Congress to approve the 12-nation trade deal, which he sees as a central part of his economic and foreign policy legacy, before he leaves the White House on Jan. 20.

But both Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump oppose the TPP, and it has become a hot-button issue in the campaign to replace Obama. Congressional leaders have been pessimistic about the odds of ratifying the deal.

Singapore is one of the signatories to the deal, which Obama has said will right the wrongs of past trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, which also are part of the TPP.

When Obama rolls out the red carpet for Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday, one of the main goals will be “lifting up the benefits” of the TPP, said Daniel Kritenbrink, top Asia policy adviser at the White House National Security Council.

“I predict he will also once again say to the prime minister that he’s committed to getting TPP done and to doing so before the end of his term,” Kritenbrink told reporters.

“TPP is going to be great for the American economy, for American workers and American companies,” Kritenbrink said. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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