Bernie Sanders Blames Hillary Clinton for Decline of Middle Class in Trade-Battered Michigan

motor city destroyed by Hillary Clinton

Michigan has been hit especially hard by a failed trade policy, which led to the state losing 33 percent of its manufacturing jobs in the past 15 years. Detroit, once the richest city in the United States in the 1960s per capita, today is the poorest. The North American Free Trade Agreement alone led to the loss of 43,000 jobs in Michigan. Permanent normal trade relations with China put another 80,000 Michigan workers out of jobs.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – Bernie Sanders on Friday said “disastrous” trade deals backed by Hillary Clinton decimated Michigan manufacturing, threw Michigan workers out of decent-paying jobs and are “one of the reasons that the middle class in the country is disappearing.”

“If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders,” he said to cheers from 2,125 supporters here at the Streeters Center.

Starting with the job-killing North American Free Trade Agreement, Clinton supported trade deals when she was secretary of state, a U.S. senator and first lady.

If the people of Michigan want to make a decision about which candidate stood with workers against corporate America and against these disastrous trade agreements, that candidate is Bernie Sanders.
– BERNIE SANDERS, TRAVERSE CITY, MICH.

Sanders joined picket lines to protest NAFTA and other trade deals “crafted by “the big-money interests and corporations,” Sanders said.

“Hillary Clinton was on the other side of many of these trade agreements,” Sanders added.

Not only was Clinton on the wrong side of a series of business-backed trade deals, she also has only grudgingly questioned the biggest trade deal of all time. Until an election-eve conversion, she had backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal which would be the biggest in history.

Meanwhile, Sanders’ campaign responded to Clinton’s assertion in Detroit that she has a plan to restore manufacturing jobs. “The American people are sick and tired of establishment politicians who promise to create manufacturing jobs during campaign season but support trade policies that make it easier to outsource these jobs the day after they get elected,” Sanders said in a prepared statement.

Meanwhile, Sanders’ campaign on Friday distributed a video showing Hillary Clinton in India in 2012 discussing what she said were “pluses and minuses” to outsourcing U.S. jobs.

To read Sanders’ statement, click here.

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