Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee says trade deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership are shipping too many manufacturing jobs to foreign countries and endangering this country’s ability to defend itself.
“I feel like a voice in the wilderness among the Republicans because everybody just sort of lines up with the Wall Street crowd,” Huckabee says.
Huckabee toured Quality Manufacturing in Urbandale this morning and spoke with reporters afterwards.
“There will be a lot of money to be made if the TPP does go through,” Huckabee said. “Unfortunately, it won’t be made by guys out here on this floor as much as it will by guys on Wall Street ’cause they don’t care where the money gets made. If it’s made in Indonesia, gets made in China, gets made in Mexico — it deposits in their accounts all the same.”
But Huckabee said American workers will suffer by losing their paychecks.
“While we enter into trade agreements and we keep our end of the deal ’cause we’re people that play by the rules, we have partnerships with people who don’t play by the rules and they’re beating our brains out,” Huckabee said, “and so it’s not free trade if it’s not fair trade.”
Huckabee cited statistics indicating the U.S. has lost five million manufacturing jobs since 2000 and 60,000 manufacturing plants in the United States have closed since the turn of the century. He said that means the U.S. will find it increasing difficult to make the weapons and ammunition it needs to defend itself in an increasingly dangerous world.
“If we can defeat the enemy by having a software program, we’re kidding ourselves,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee said a country that cannot feed itself, fuel itself and fight for itself will fail. Huckabee is among the half dozen presidential candidates who are campaigning in Iowa today.