Burning Issues: The Sanders-Clinton Debate On Trade

Robert Scott, a senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute, explains in a video released Tuesday and produced by the Campaign for America’s Future the sharp difference between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on trade.

Scott says our trade policies have helped fuel the closing of 80,000 factories and the loss of 5 million manufacturing jobs since the signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993 and the addition of China to the World Trade Organization a few years later. We have seen at the same time the average wages for working Americans cut by $2,000 a year, he adds.

Sanders, Scott says, “has been out front in criticizing agreements like NAFTA and the TPP [Trans-Pacific Partnership] and the agreement to bring China into the World Trade Organization. [Hillary] Clinton has in the past favored all of these agreements.” While Clinton now says she does not support the TPP, Scott says, she “has generally tended to favor the kinds of deals that have generated lost jobs and downward pressure on wages of most working Americans.”

In the video, Scott calls for trade agreements that raise labor standards and the prospects for economic development in other countries rather than engaging them in a race to the bottom.

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