Politics

Trump: Auto Industry Jobs Gone if Hillary Wins

GOP nominee says Clinton flip-flop on Korean deal proof she'll back TPP

Campaigning in perhaps the most trade-impacted state in the country, Republican Donald Trump on Friday warned Michiganders that Hillary Clinton would abandon them on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership just as she did on a Korean trade pact.

Trump noted that Clinton, running for president in 2007, opposed the Korea-U.S. trade deal.

“She pledged to you to reject the deal. But she lied as always. She lied.”

“She pledged to you to reject the deal,” Trump told the crowd at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. “But she lied as always. She lied.”

Clinton, indeed, vowed to fight the agreement when she campaigned in Michigan in 2007. She said then that it would “hurt the U.S. auto industry, increase our trade deficit, cost us good middle class jobs and make America less competitive.”

As secretary of state in 2011, Clinton sang a different tune, releasing a statement arguing that passage of trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama had benefits beyond economic. The countries are “in strategically vital regions. With the passage of these agreements, America has delivered for our friends and allies,” she stated.

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The conclusion, Trump said, could not be clearer.

“Same thing’s gonna happen with TPP,” he said. “Don’t give her the chance, folks. You’re going to lose all your jobs.”

Trade is a potentially potent issue for Trump in manufacturing-dependent Michigan, where he won the Republican primary earlier this year, and TPP critic Bernie Sanders won the Democratic primary. Large majorities of voters in both primaries said in exit polls that trade costs more jobs than it creates.

Trump cited estimates from the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute that America’s trade deficit last year with the 11 other countries that would be members of the Pacific trade deal cost the country 740,000 manufacturing jobs. Michigan is the nation’s biggest loser among the states, he said.

“Just imagine how many more automobile jobs will be lost if the TPP is actually approved, as Hillary Clinton is planning to do,” he said.

Although ostensibly opposed to the Pacific deal, Clinton pushed or praised it on 45 different occasions as secretary of state, Trump said. He offered a motive for Clinton’s trade flip-flops in three words: “Follow the money.”

Trump said of the 262 companies that have lobbied in favor of the TPP, 82 — or about a third — contributed between $21 million and $67 million to the family-run Clinton Foundation. The foundation also received between $6 million and $15 million from three countries that would be TPP members.

What’s more, nine companies in favor of the deal paid Clinton $2.7 million for speeches after she left office. Four TPP lobbyists have raised $800,000 for her campaign.

“Who would want to hear Hillary Clinton speak and pay her $200-, $300-, $400-, $500,000? Who?” he asked, suggesting the money was not for Clinton’s eloquence.

“Hillary Clintons donors want the TPP, and their wish will be her command,” he said. “Everyone knows she’s for it because she doesn’t believe in protecting American jobs or American sovereignty. She doesn’t believe it.”

Trump accused Clinton of selling out American workers for her professional and personal gain.

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“Hillary Clinton has made a living raking in donations from special interests that have raided our factories and ripped the jobs right out of Michigan and every other state,” he said. “That’s how she gets rich.”

Trump reminded his audience that Clinton’s husband, Bill Clinton, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement. At the time, Michigan had 280,000 auto workers, he said; today, that number is 160,000.

Trump said he would stop the TPP, renegotiate NAFTA and rebuild Michigan’s largest city.

“Look at what the Democrats have done to Detroit,” he said. “Half of Detroit residents are unable work. Nearly 40 percent of the city lives in poverty. It’s the second-most dangerous city in America, according to the FBI. This is the legacy of the policies embraced by Crooked Hillary Clinton.”

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