Philadelphia | A day after losing Wisconsin, White House hopeful Hillary Clinton has unleashed a blistering critique of China while campaigning in blue-collar Pennsylvania, warning the Asian giant must toe the line if she becomes president. The eastern US state, where organized labor is an influential force, hosts its presidential primaries on April 26.
China illegally dumps cheap products in our markets, steals our trade secrets, plays games with their currency, gives unfair advantages to state-owned-enterprises and discriminates against American companies, she said yesterday. We will throw the book at China for their illegal actions. Clinton’s remarks, delivered to a state AFL-CIO union convention in Philadelphia, were among her most forceful campaign trail comments about Beijing.
Her rival for the Democratic nomination, Senator Bernie Sanders, addresses the gathering today. Clinton, seeking to regain her footing in the nomination race after losing six of the last seven state contests, pointed to her experience as secretary of state as a measure of her ability to influence Beijing. I have gone toe to toe with China’s top leaders on some of the toughest issues we face, from cyber attacks to human rights to climate change to trade and more, she said.
I know how they operate, and they know if I am president, they are going to have to toe the line, because we’re going to once and for all get fair treatment, or they’re not going to get access to our markets. At one point she refered to China as the biggest abuser of global trade. Clinton defeated Barack Obama in Pennsylvania in their 2008 primary battle, thanks to support from union Democrats, and she aims to repeat her victory in three weeks’ time.
But she will need to reassure workers who have criticized her late opposition to the trans-Pacific trade deal recently signed by President Barack Obama. Sanders has steadfastly opposed the agreement from Day One. My message to every worker in Pennsylvania, every worker across America is this: I will stand with you, I will have your back and I will stop dead in its tracks any trade deal that hurts America, Clinton said.
Clinton also criticized Sanders, insisting that in a number of important areas, he doesn’t have a plan at all. Clinton leads Sanders by 52.7 percent to 35 percent in a RealClearPolitics poll average, although the latest poll, released by Quinnipiac University on Tuesday, puts Clinton just six points ahead.