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Sanders Maintains Hard Line On Global Trade

In the former manufacturing and steel industry-hub of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Senator Bernie Sanders continued to take a hard-line on trade, specifically trade deals like NAFTA or the TPP.

“”We have to rethink the economy in a way that says this economy is a moral economy that is not based on greed and selfishness, and is a moral economy which says that the middle class has the right to exist,” he said at a press conference.

“Our children have a right to live with security and dignity. We should not have the highest rate of childhood poverty of almost any major country on earth,” he said.

“Those are the issues that we have got to deal with, and once we accept those parameters, yes, of course, we can create an economy that works for all of us.”

The Hill reports:

He said NAFTA and a number of other trade deals that have been passed by Congress in the past couple of decades have played a significant role in the nation’s job losses.

“We’re going to have fair trade, not unfettered free trade,” he said in response to a question about overhauling the nation’s trade framework.

“What fair trade means is that American workers cannot be forced to compete against people who make pennies an hour,” he said.

“So those types of trade agreements will not be trade agreements that I will ever sign.”

Sanders again highlighted that he has opposed all trade agreements that have reached Capitol Hill during his tenure and that he is opposed to the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, which Congress could take up this year.

“We have to talk about our disastrous trade policies that have cost this country millions of jobs and are rigged by corporate America,” Sanders said during a rally in Pittsburgh.

“My message to corporate America is that your greed is going to end,” Sanders said. 

He chided Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton for supporting the bad trade agreements of the past and for changing her mind on TPP.

Clinton said last fall that she opposes the TPP because she doesn’t think that the final product lives up to the standards that were set.

During the rally, Sanders ticked off several instances of the closing of locomotive, chocolate and steel plants that were uprooted from Pennsylvania and moved to other countries such as Mexico and China so they could pay lower wages.

“Today, we are in an absurd situation where the top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent,” he said.

“That is not fair competition.”

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) is opposed to the TPP and has argued that while the deal may help parts of the state’s economy, it would likely do too much damage to the steel industry. 

Pennsylvania’s primary is April 26, with a total of 210 Democratic delegates up for grabs.

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