Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign on Thursday challenged Hillary Clinton to commit to stopping job-killing trade deals.
"If Secretary Clinton really wanted to stop the loss of manufacturing jobs in Ohio she should have joined Senator Sanders in opposing the North American Free Trade Agreement and permanent normal trade relations with China," Sanders' Policy Director Warren Gunnels said.
"It's easy to say you support manufacturing jobs in an election," Gunnels said. "But when it really mattered Bernie Sanders was on picket lines opposing NAFTA; Secretary Clinton supported it. Bernie helped lead the effort against permanent normal trade relations with China; Secretary Clinton supported it. Bernie helped lead the opposition against fast-tracking the Trans Pacific Partnership; Secretary Clinton initially brushed it aside as a technical and procedural vote. Bernie has always understood that fast-tracking these disastrous trade deals would pave the way for more lost jobs, more lost factories, and more pain for the middle class."
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Ohio has lost over 300,000 manufacturing jobs -- 31 percent of factory jobs -- between 1994 and 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. By 2010, 34,900 jobs had been lost or displaced in Ohio -- and about 700,000 in the United States -- due to the rise in the trade deficit with Mexico alone since NAFTA was enacted in 1994. The Economic Policy Institute also found that by 2013, 106,400 jobs had been lost or displaced in Ohio -- and more than 3.2 million in the United States -- due to the rise in the trade deficit with China since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.
As president, Sanders will:
- Not send any trade deal to Congress that will make it easier for corporations to outsource American jobs overseas.
- Not send any trade deal for approval in Congress that forces American workers to compete with desperate workers in Vietnam who make less than 65 cents an hour.
- Not send any trade deal to Congress that forces American workers to compete against migrant workers in Malaysia who are treated like modern-day slaves.
- Not approve any trade agreement that gives foreign corporations the right to undermine American democracy through the disastrous Investor State Dispute Settlement system.
- Not send any trade deal to Congress that would increase the price of prescription drugs or deregulate the financial services industry.
- Not approve any trade agreement that includes major human rights violators like Brunei -- a country that has announced intentions to stone people to death for the "crime" of being gay.
- Ensure that countries like China and Japan are not able to manipulate their currency.