CLAIM: Former United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis claimed that Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden is the “fighter” that American workers need.
VERDICT: FALSE. Biden has sided with big business and Wall Street interests against American workers on issues such as trade.
“American workers need a fighter now more than ever and Joe Biden is that person because he has done it before and I’ve seen it firsthand,” Solis said on the third night of the Democrat National Convention (DNC).
Biden has a long voting record on trade, one of the most consequential issues for working and middle class Americans looking for protections in the labor market.
In the 1990s, Biden voted in support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which led to the elimination of five million American manufacturing jobs and helped eliminate at least 50,000 manufacturing plants in the United States.
Biden, in 1993, repeatedly claimed NAFTA would create more U.S. jobs at Chrysler’s Newark, Delaware plant. In 2007, the Chrysler plant closed due to unfair competition in the Mexican market caused by NAFTA.
Then, in 2000, Biden voted to normalize trade relations with China. Of the five million American manufacturing jobs lost since the late 1990s, about 3.4 million were lost directly due to U.S. free trade with China.
During the later years of the Obama administration, Biden as vice president toured the nation promoting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Research has shown that TPP, if not killed by President Trump, would have provided incentives for big businesses to offshore U.S. jobs.
“Fast-tracking TPP would make it easier for corporations to offshore U.S. jobs and push down our wages by forcing Americans to compete with workers in Vietnam who make less than 60 cents an hour and in Malaysia, where forced labor is widely used,” an analysis by Public Citizen noted.
“The TPP’s Investment Chapter provides special benefits to firms that offshore American jobs and eliminates many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries, such as TPP member Vietnam,” the analysis found.
In the current election cycle, Biden has touted a near carbon-copy platform on trade as Obama. The promises made by Obama in 2008 ultimately led to the administration attempting to enter the U.S. into the TPP.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.