American jobs need protection, Donald Trump says
MANCHESTER, N.H. — With an abandoned factory as a backdrop, Donald Trump said consumers would be “better off paying a little bit more” for products to help protect American jobs and he threatened to tax companies that move overseas.
“The goods will also be of a higher quality,” he added. “We’re known for that.”
The presumptive GOP presidential nominee kept up his push for changes to international trade agreements during a campaign stop in this key swing state yesterday.
“The real Clinton global initiative — their economic plan — is to ship American jobs overseas,” Trump said outside the shuttered Osram Sylvania plant, which closed in 2014. “You’re looking at a plant and the wreckage of NAFTA and the wreckage of China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization.”
He also threatened to impose taxes of 35 percent on companies that shutter factories to ship jobs overseas.
Trump also made a reference to the latest Rasmussen poll showing him ahead of Hillary Clinton in the general election, 43-39 percent — as “the tables have turned” as his focus on jobs gains traction, the pollster said in yesterday’s survey.
“We’re up by 4 percent,” Trump said, drawing cheers from a small crowd of about 100, who he said were invited to the Manchester event.
Trump did not, however, reference Brexit — a divorce from the European Union that he has openly supported and previously described as Britons “taking their country back.”
Instead, he demanded that the U.S. pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and take a hard look at rewriting or withdrawing from the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Trump said his stance on trade deals and jobs could bring some unlikely votes his way.
“I think we’re going to get a lot of Bernie Sanders voters,” he said of Clinton’s vanquished Democratic primary foe.
“We’re better off paying a little bit more and having jobs,” he said of keeping factories open. “It was a much better system, the way it used to be.”
His more subdued, presidential tone resonated with some supporters, who said they came to hear what his policies were instead of heated rhetoric.
“I liked it, he was more down to earth. Some people like a little bit of drama because it’s kind of exciting, but I just like that he was hitting the topics,” said Mike Boulanger, 51, of Manchester, who said he worked at the Osram Sylvania plant for 29 years. “I think he’s more presidential than what I’ve seen on TV.”
Boulanger added that he met Trump and spoke to him in the empty building where he used to work. He said he choked up while speaking to Trump as he remembered all the years on the job.
“He has a great handshake,” Boulanger added.
Cathie Chevalier, who supported Ben Carson but switched to Trump after her candidate bowed out, said she was “very impressed” with Trump’s speech.
“I think he’s toning it down and kind of adapting to the role he wants to be in,” said Chevalier, Carson’s former New Hampshire state chairwoman. “I think he looks more professional to the public.”
Trump did raise his promise to build a wall along the Mexican border.
“That could be a Mexican plane up there,” he said, pointing to an aircraft flying overhead. “They’re getting ready to attack.”