Hillary Clinton got tough on trade Thursday night during her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.
The presidential candidate went right after globalization and trade in her talk, aiming to capture support from Bernie Sanders’ constituents, who have been vocal in their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership and trade throughout the primary season. She also appealed to the Rust Belt states, where Donald Trump’s anti-free trade message has resonated with traditional blue-collar workers and unions.
“If you believe that we should say ‘no’ to unfair trade deals, that we should stand up to China, that we should support our steelworkers and autoworkers and homegrown manufacturers — join us,” Clinton said.
The former Secretary of State has had a tough go in the area of trade, with some polls highlighting that voters don’t trust her flip-flop on the TPP and stance on free trade. Clinton had supported the TPP under President Barack Obama, but on the campaign trail, she has argued that the deal — which is largely expected to benefit the footwear industry — doesn’t reach the “gold standard” she expected.
Because of this, many insiders hope she will eventually support the deal. And at the very least, if she is elected, it will make it easier for the TPP to pass during the lame-duck session this November.
Clinton also doubled down on Trump’s trade talk during her speech, taking the Republican candidate to task over his own manufacturing practices for his line of clothes, furniture and more.
“He also talks a big game about putting America first,” Clinton said. “Please explain to me what part of America first leads him to make Trump ties in China, not Colorado. Trump suits in Mexico, not Michigan. Trump furniture in Turkey, not Ohio. Trump picture frames in India, not Wisconsin.
“Donald Trump says he wants to make America great again — well, he could start by actually making things in America again.”
The criticism of Trump has been one highlighted several times throughout the DNC, and will most certainly become a key theme and attack for Clinton in the months leading up to the election.