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AmCham Singapore worried about TPP's fate, whether Trump or Clinton win US election

For American business interests in Asia, the fate of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal under a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton administration is a major worry.

"The biggest thing we're concerned about is the TPP," Dwight Hutchins, chairman of the board of governors at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Singapore, told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

The Singapore branch of AmCham, like its outlets around the world, and the U.S. Embassy were open in early hours of Wednesday in Asia to hold election viewing parties.

"We need to make them [Congress and each candidate] understand that 95 percent of the world's consumers are outside the U.S. and we need to be playing out in that marketplace, so the TPP will help," Hutchins continued.

The world's largest free-trade deal has been a signature economic objective of Democratic President Barack Obama but despite its potential benefits, including the creation of new jobs and a competitive advantage for U.S. firms in foreign markets, it has been opposed by both Trump and Clinton.


Women take part in a demonstration against the TPP in Mexico City, on November 4, 2016.
PEDRO PARDO - AFP - Getty Images
Women take part in a demonstration against the TPP in Mexico City, on November 4, 2016.

"Opposition to the TPP and a similar deal with Europe has come from many in the U.S. labor movement, as well as some economists, who argue that trade agreements in their current form hurt workers, degrade the U.S. manufacturing base, and exacerbate income inequality," strategists at the Council of Foreign Relations explained in a recent note.

Last week, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman told CNBC that the agreement wasn't dead yet, as it could still garner enough votes for ratification by Congress after the presidential election.

Seven of the deal's 12 signatories are Asia Pacific nations: Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, and New Zealand.

"We need to ensure both candidates understand the full importance of Asia," Hutchins said. "Both candidates have expressed concerns so we have work to do on both counts."

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