In an interview with CNN broadcast Saturday, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders discussed his positions on trade policy, RealClearPolitics reports.
Host Dana Bash began the discussion by pointing out that President Donald Trump is currently taking a victory lap, bragging that the pressure he had exerted on Mexico via trade made the country more willing to collaborate.
“Well I think what the president has done is tout what, in fact, in many respects Mexico has agreed to do many months ago,” Sanders said, referencing media reports which claim that the deal Trump is taking credit for has actually been made months ago.
As The New York Times reported, according to officials from both countries, Mexico agreed to help the United States curb illegal immigration months ago, which suggests that the president’s recent tariff threats made no difference.
Sanders, he said, is “tired of is a president who consistently goes to war, verbal war with our allies, whether it is Mexico, whether it is Canada.”
The Vermont senator than explained his views on immigration, stating that young people in the DACA program need “immediate legal protection,” and arguing that “comprehensive immigration reform” is needed in the United States.
The United States, according to Sanders, needs to work on preserving and improving its relationship with neighboring Mexico and Canada, instead of “confronting them every other day” as Trump does.
Bash then asked Sanders whether he would be willing to do what Trump does, and use trade and tariffs to negotiate, and pressure other countries.
Trump's Mexico tariffs aren't about trade, it's about a fake border "crisis" to scapegoat migrants. No wonder it's unpopular. We should be working to address migration’s root causes by ending our militarized drug war and race-to-the-bottom trade policies. https://t.co/sWDmNfrUza— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) June 5, 2019
The Democratic presidential candidate responded by discussing his voting record, pointing out that he had voted against trade agreements such as NAFTA — which Trump frequently criticizes, despite signing a similar agreement — and against permanent normal trade relations with China. Millions of jobs, according to Sanders, have been lost due to “disastrous” free trade agreements.
But, according to the Vermont senator, tariffs cannot be used to threaten other countries.
“You can’t have a trade policy based on tweets. What you need is a comprehensive trade policy which represents the working people of this country, and not just the CEOs of large corporations.”
Sanders added that the United States needs to change its trade policies, in order to help both Americans and people abroad, noting that “Trump’s erratic threats and trade policies are not the way to go.”
Unlike the majority of Democrats running for president, Sanders has expressed opposition to free trade policies, frequently contrasting his voting record with front-runner Joe Biden’s, and pointing out that Biden had voted for trade agreements such as NAFTA.
Sen. Bernie Sanders on attending Walmart shareholders meeting: “I am pushing very hard to make sure that we have a $15 minimum wage so that, if you work 40 hours in this country, you can live with a shred of dignity.” https://t.co/GfER0aJ9Qo #CNNSOTU pic.twitter.com/YoHGIv8a0j— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) June 9, 2019
Nevertheless, Biden has remained the absolute front-runner. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the former vice president is leading in virtually all polls, and — although in the second place — Sanders has seemingly started fading away, with Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg surging in the polls.