TPP still has a chance despite venom from presidential candidates, Jack Lew says

Still time for TPP approval: Jack Lew

The Trans-Pacific Partnership has obvious benefits despite the beating it has taken on the campaign trail, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Tuesday.

"The TPP on its face should be a clear plus. And we're going to continue making that case," Lew said at the 2016 Delivering Alpha conference.

The Obama administration-backed trade deal with Pacific nations has faced resistance in Congress and from major party presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

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The trade deal has come under intense criticism from both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The GOP presidential candidate has been critical of trade deals generally, including the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Clinton, who was formerly a booster of TPP, withdrew her support under pressure from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who made headway with the economically liberal wing of her party by attacking the TPP and other global economic initiatives.

Lew argued that he can point to specific ways that the TPP improves labor standards and other rules among member states. The TPP is "good" for American workers, he said.

Lew also said that other Pacific-Rim countries including Vietnam have already made changes domestically in order to conform to proposed TPP standards.

—CNBC's Ted Kemp contributed to this report.