Clinton Promises She’ll Stand up to ‘Global Trade Abusing’ China

‘We will throw the book at China for their illegal actions.’

Updated
World
3 min read
Hillary Rodham Clinton while campaigning at Carnegie Mellon University. (Photo: AP)

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 organised labour is an influential force, hosts its presidential primaries on 26 April.

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. We will throw the book at China for their illegal actions.
Hillary Clinton

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 Thursday.

 US senator Sanders from Vermont. (Photo: AP)
US senator Sanders from Vermont. (Photo: AP)

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’ve 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. I know how they operate, and they know if I’m president, they’re 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.
Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton during one of her campaigns. (Photo: AP)
Hillary Clinton during one of her campaigns. (Photo: AP)
At one point, she referred 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.

A file photo of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama sharing a laugh. (Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/marcn/">Marc Nozell</a>)
A file photo of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama sharing a laugh. (Photo: Marc Nozell)

But she will need to reassure workers who have criticised 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. 
Hillary Clinton

She also criticised 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.

(This copy has been put out in arrangement with AFP.)

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