March 14, 2016

New Outsourcing Video Could Hurt Clinton In Manufacturing States

A newly released video from 2005 shows then-Senator Hillary Clinton calling outsourcing “an inevitability,” adding “there’s no way to legislate against reality, so I think the outsourcing will continue.”

The video, put out by Fox News, shows a very different Hillary Clinton than the candidate stumping in states like Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois in recent days. Those states were some of the hardest hit by the trade policies Clinton supported in the 1990s, which is why her message about making companies “pay a price” for deserting American workers rings hollow:

Ohio has lost 307,000 manufacturing jobs since 1994. Illinois has lost 290,822; Missouri, 105,798; and North Carolina, 359,794, according to Department of Labor data compiled by the anti-free trade group Public Citizen.

The focus on this issue puts Clinton in awkward position. On paper, Clinton and Sanders have more or less the same policy on trade: They oppose TPP and want to renegotiate NAFTA.  …

But [former SEIU President Andy] Stern, who is not backing either candidate, notes it’s a tougher sell for Clinton, since her husband supported NAFTA and President Obama, her former boss, is pushing TPP. Clinton called TPP a “gold standard” trade deal when she was secretary of state.

On trade, “voters might believe Clinton, but they believe Bernie a lot more,” Stern said.

If Michigan is any guide, Clinton’s struggle in states like Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina could be significant. Clinton’s ties to trade policies directly contributed to her unexpected loss there last week:

Reuters: “Clinton’s Surprise Michigan Loss Exposes Risks For Her On Trade

The New York Times: The state’s voters, scarred by the free trade deals associated with Mrs. Clinton and her husband that have been widely blamed for the loss of American manufacturing jobs, delivered a surprise victory to Mr. Sanders, who railed here against “disastrous trade agreements written by corporate America.”

TIME: One number that keeps giving Clinton supporters concern is the level of resentment about trade policy. In Michigan, 57% of Democratic voters said trade takes away U.S. jobs. Clinton lost those voters by 15 percentage points. That sentiment is unlikely to fade in Ohio, where a shuttered Ford factory greets visitors leaving the Cleveland airport, and pockets of cities look like Detroit.

This new outsourcing video is only likely to hurt her in these upcoming states.