Early in their debate Monday night, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump traded blows on trade and the economy.
Trump attacked Clinton’s record on free trade, saying that trade deals passed by her husband, Bill Clinton while he was president hurt the US economy by moving jobs overseas.
“Your husband brought us NAFTA and NAFTA was on of the worst things to ever happened to the economy,” said Trump, referencing the North American Free Trade Agreement that was passed by Clinton’s husband Bill in 1994.
Trump also said that free trade policies have turned the US into a “piggy bank for China” and he would prevent companies such as Ford, which has moved its small car operation to Mexico, from moving their operations overseas and “stealing jobs.”
Clinton defended her record, saying that while trade is necessary to support a modern economy she has also voted against deals that did not favour American workers.
“We have 5% of the world’s population, we have to do business with the other 95% of the world,” said Clinton.
In the argument on the economy, Clinton also noted that Trump cheered on the housing crisis in 2006 and wanted to housing bubble to burst in order for his companies to buy real estate at cheap prices.
“Donald is one of the people that rooted for the housing crisis,” said Clinton, adding that Trump is in favour of policies that lead to the country taking “its eyes off Wall Street” and created the financial crisis.
“That’s called business, by the way” replied Trump.
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