Republican, Democrat presidential hopefuls decry TPP deal

Of the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is the TPP's biggest detractors (AAP)
Of the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is the TPP's biggest detractors (AAP)

Wherever Republican candidate Donald Trump goes on the campaign trail, he draws huge, cheering crowds.

In Ohio at the weekend, they yelled their support as he took a swing at the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"It's a horrible, horrible trade agreement. It doesn't get any worse, but it's a horrible agreement. You have 12 countries -- all of whom want to rip our heart out," Mr Trump said.

Those 12 countries include New Zealand.

But it still has to be ratified by each country -- and both Republican and Democratic candidates are opposed.

Hillary Clinton told Ohio voters she didn't agree with the TPP's car import rules.

"It's one of the reasons I oppose the TPP, because when I saw what was in it, it was clear to me there were too many loopholes, too many opportunities for folks to be taken advantage of," she said.

Her rival Bernie Sanders went a step further, telling Ms Clinton that shouldn't be re-negotiated -- and that the "unfettered free trade agreement" should just be killed.

The Government's continuing its TPP roadshow -- it was just in Dunedin, and Prime Minister John Key is continuing to be optimistic.

"Donald Trump's saying it's because it's not a good deal for America. But to be blunt he doesn't think that any deal that Obama's done is a great deal for America so I don't think you want to read too much into that literally," he said.

However TPP critic Jane Kelsey is reading plenty into Trump's message.

"It's a real worry when you have to rely on the likes of Donald Trump and tea partyists to stop a deal that's not in the interest of ordinary people," she said.

Trade Expert Stephen Jacobi told Newshub the candidates are cashing in on votes in Ohio, where people believe they've been hurt by other free trade deals.

He says it could spell trouble for the TPP if Barack Obama doesn't ratify the deal while he's still president.