By Jonathan Allen
WARREN, Mich. (Reuters) – U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Thursday said rival Donald Trump had no real plans to help middle-class families, arguing that his agenda of tax cuts and tough trade talk would throw the economy into recession.
“He’soffered no credible plans to address what working families are up against today,” Clinton said in Warren, Michigan, shortly after touring Futuramic, a hangar-like, high-tech factory that makes parts for the aerospace industry.
Clinton said Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, would scrap regulations meant to hold corporations accountable, cut taxes on “millionaires and Wall Street money managers,” and eliminate the estate tax, an inheritance tax that generally hits the wealthy.
Clinton offered no new proposals of her own but sought to cast doubt on the image Trump promotes of himself as the voice for working people. The New York businessman is counting on his appeal to blue-collar voters with concerns about global trade to boost his chances in key states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Clinton on Thursday ran through many of the policies she has outlined over the last year to contrast herself with Trump, who has given far fewer details about his plans, as the presidential campaign heads toward the Nov. 8 election.
Speaking to Fox News later on Thursday, Trump said he would cut business taxes to bring jobs back to the United States, while Clinton would have to double taxes to meet the increased spending on social programs in her plan.
Trump delivered an economic speech in Detroit on Monday. He publicly named his economic advisers last week, which Clinton mocked as “six guys named Steve.” On Thursday, he released a list of nine additions to the council, eight of whom were women. New members included roofing billionaire Diane Hendricks, investor Carla Sands and hedge funder Anthony Scaramucci.
Workers’ anxiety over trade deals has become a central theme in the 2016 election, and Clinton rejected the portrait Trump has painted that she only pretends not to favor the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a deal she praised when she was secretary of state from 2009-2013 but has more recently opposed.
Clinton also says she would renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by former President Bill Clinton, her husband. Trump routinely disparages the agreement as bad for American jobs.
“It’s true that too often past trade deals have been sold to the American people with rosy scenarios that didn’t pan out,” Clinton told the crowd of factory workers. “The answer is not to rant and rave, or cut ourselves off from the world.
“The answer is to finally make trade work for us, not against us,” she said. “So my message to every worker in Michigan and across America is this: I will stop any trade deal that kills jobs or holds down wages, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
(Additional reporting by Emily Stephenson and Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Leslie Adler)