WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Bill Clinton’s North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and China’s devaluations are devastating US industry, but slashing taxes and regulations along with better trade deals will revive the economy of the United States, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said in the first presidential debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
"Our jobs are fleeing the country: They're going to other countries, "Trump told the debate audience at Hofstra University on New York’s Long Island on Monday night. "Our country is in deep trouble we don't know what we're doing with devaluations. We have to renegotiate our trade deals."
Clinton countered in the debate on Friday by arguing she would rebuild the US middle class with more inclusive policies and ridiculed what she called "trickle-down" economic policies.
Trump said no one in the US government led by Clinton’s political ally and former boss, President Barack Obama, was responding adequately to what he alleged was China’s manipulation of its currency to retain favorable terms of trade with the United States.
"There is no one in our government [standing up] to them [China]. They are using our country as a piggy bank. Ford is leaving. Thousands of jobs are leaving… We have to stop our jobs being stolen from us… We have to stop our companies from leaving the United States," Trump said.
Clinton responded with a very different jobs creation strategy. She said she would create jobs in infrastructure, clean renewable energy and for small businesses and would finance these efforts by taxing the ultra-wealthy.
Clitnon criticized what she claimed were Trump’s plan to have the biggest tax cuts for the top one percent of the wealthy.
"The better we can invest in the middle class the better off we will be," she said.
However, Trump countered by criticizing the 1994 NAFTA deal negotiated by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton during his first term in the White House, as having decimated US jobs.
Today, the United States continued to operate under a serous disadvantage with Mexico because Mexico imposed heavy taxes on US imports, but the United States imposed on goods it imported from south of the border, Trump maintained.
"When we sell into Mexico there's a tax 16 percent when they sell into us there's no tax," he stated.
Trump also ridiculed many of Clinton’s proposals arguing that in her almost quarter century of experience as first lady, a US senator and secretary of state she had not succeeded in improving conditions for job creation and industry within the United States.
"She's been doing this for 30 years, why hasn't she making them better?" he asked.
Clinton argued that her policies would make the United States the clean energy economic super power of the 21st century.
Clinton also claimed that Trump would restore the discredited policies of President George W. Bush.
"Eight years ago we had the worst financial crisis since the 1930s… Nine million people lost their jobs, five million people lost their jobs… His tax plan would blow up the debt by $5 trillion. We would lose 3.5 million jobs," Clinton added.
However, Trump countered by claiming that the US economy and government could not afford the cost of the policies Clinton was advocating. It took 230 years to run up the US government debt to $10 trillion. Obama had almost doubled that to nearly $20 trillion in only seven and a half years, Trump concluded.