Bernie Challenges Trump to Get Populist: Stand Up to Corporations Outsourcing U.S. Jobs

Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump
Mark Wilson/Getty Images/Tom Brenner

Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is challenging President Donald Trump to do more to prevent multinational corporations from outsourcing and offshoring American jobs and sending them abroad.

This week, Sanders blasted Trump for not going far enough in stopping multinational corporations like General Motors (GM) and Wells Fargo from outsourcing and offshoring U.S. jobs to foreign countries like India, China, and the Phillippines.

In a campaign release, Sanders called on Trump to sign an executive order that would ban corporations that outsource American jobs from receiving federal contracts and signal a commitment to renegotiate free trade deals, namely NAFTA, which have led to nationwide offshoring of U.S. jobs and displacement of American workers.

“Since Trump has been in office, our trade deficit in goods has shot up to a record-breaking $891 billion. He has given out $50 billion in government contracts to companies that are shipping jobs overseas,” Sanders said in a campaign statement.

Sanders said, “more than 185,000 American jobs have been shipped overseas” since Trump became president and vowed to “fight for American workers” while “stand[ing] up to the giant corporations who close down plants to send jobs overseas.”

The socialist candidate also is promising to not appoint a U.S. trade representative that has ties to Wall Street and said that, as president, he will label China a currency manipulator and accuse them of putting tariffs in place to prevent cheap, foreign goods from being dumped into the country, which undermines U.S.-made products and American manufacturers.

While president, Trump has enacted steel and aluminum tariffs as well as tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products, which have resulted in widespread growth across the American manufacturing sector and reopened U.S. steel mills that had previously idled due to decades worth of free trade policies.

Trump campaign spokeswoman Erin Perrine touted the president as a “champion” of economic nationalist policies in a statement to Breitbart News and touted Trump’s record on bringing manufacturing jobs back to the country.

“There is no bigger champion for ‘Made in America’ than President Trump and his track record backs that up,” Perrine said. “More than 500,000 manufacturing jobs created in just the first two years and a booming economy — President Trump has, and will continue, to put America and it’s incredible workers first.”

Trump’s populist agenda has also focused on going after corporations like GM — and its CEO Mary Barra — which is set to lay off thousands of American workers this year as Chinese and Mexican production ramps up. Trump has allied himself with union workers, demanding that the United Auto Workers (UAW) and GM executives work together to reopen the recently close Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant.

Sanders, though, has called on Trump to take immediate action through executive order, telling union workers in Lordstown this month that his populist trade agenda will center on preventing corporations from shipping American middle-class jobs overseas.

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that the majority of Americans are hungry for economic populist-nationalist policies rather than the Republican establishment’s preferred agenda of economic libertarianism. Overall, six-in-ten Americans said the U.S. economic system workers for the wealthy and well-connected, rather than all Americans. About two-in-three swing voters agree.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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