Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump stood with the American worker and against globalization Thursday when he discussed trade policy in New Hampshire – a swing state where presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads the billionaire by only 2.7 points in the Real Clear Politics average.
“There’s nothing that is closer to my heart than trade. There’s nothing that is closer to my heart, actually, than the workers who are being so badly hurt,” Trump told his supporters while speaking in front of the former Osram Sylvania building, a plant that closed in 2014 and shipped 139 jobs overseas. “It’s just not going to happen anymore.”
“When you have large numbers of unemployed blue collar workers, incomes go down across the country… and it affects so many other businesses,” Trump explained. “When you force workers in America to compete with workers earning one dollar a day overseas, our whole standard of living goes down.”
“We’re better off paying a little bit more and having jobs,” Trump said, referencing his opposition to the trade argument that goods are cheaper when manufactured overseas. “It’s a much better system the way it used to be,” he countered.
He said that the “share of GDP controlled by workers has steadily declined and shifted to corporations and the corporations are your special interests people… that give campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton,” adding, “you’re living in a rigged system.”
“It’s almost as though they want to protect the world and they don’t care about our [workers],” Trump said of politicians like Clinton.
Trump’s campaign, referencing the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis, noted that New Hampshire lost 31 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed by President Bill Clinton.
The campaign also cites the Economic Policy Institute’s estimate that in 2015 roughly 7,400 jobs were displaced in New Hampshire due to countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which is currently awaiting a vote in Congress.
“America has lost nearly one-third of its manufacturing jobs since 1997, driven by these two,” Trump stated, referencing Bill and Hillary Clinton. “They are a disaster and now they want to go into TPP,” he added. “That will make NAFTA, in my opinion, look like a baby.”
Trump argued that Clinton, who flip-flopped on her support of the TPP, will sign it “just like Hillary Clinton pushed through the trade deal with South Korea that killed another 100,000 jobs and she pushed it through after pledging she wouldn’t… but it happened.”
“We have to withdraw” from the TPP, Trump argued, saying he prefers one-on-one trade deals between countries. “We want one-on-one with countries that treat us properly.”
Trump also said he believes NAFTA should be renegotiated.
“I’m a free trader,” he clarified. “I want to make great deals for the United States.”
“We’re putting our people back to work.”