Pending trade deal creates complications for Clinton in 2016 White House campaign

Economic Indicators Associated Press

As secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton called the Trans-Pacific Partnership the "gold standard" in efforts to create open and fair trade.

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Now as a presidential candidate, she's struck a far more cautious tone on that emerging agreement: non-committal with a strong hint of skepticism.

The 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership under negotiation by President Barack Obama has divided the Democratic party, leaving Clinton caught between liberal activists and the president she once served.

Potential Democratic rivals are pressing Clinton to take a firmer stance against the deal. Her positions on trade agreements have fluctuated with the political calendar over the years.

As first lady, for example, she trumpeted the North American trade deal brokered by her husband, but said in her first presidential campaign in 2007 that it was "a mistake."