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Schumer Says If He's Majority Leader, Trade Policy Will Change

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J. Scott Applewhite
/
AP
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Foreign trade deals are a contentious issue at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Now New York’s Senior Senator Chuck Schumer is weighing in, saying he’s against the Trans-Pacific Partnership proposal, known as the TPP.

Senator Schumer, speaking to the New York delegation, says he was “skeptical” over the NAFTA deal back in the 1990s even though then President Bill Clinton asked him to vote for it. Schumer voted against NAFTA, and he says since then his views have become even stronger.

“You don’t need a Ph.D. in economics to know why companies want to take jobs out of America and move them to Indonesia or Mexico,” he said. “Because the workers there get paid next to nothing.”

Schumer says the proposed trade deal would likely increase corporate profits and the nation’s gross domestic product, but he says that’s not enough to counterbalance reduced jobs and wages for American workers.

He says if Democrats retake the United States Senate in November, things will be different.

“Should I, god willing, become the majority leader, we’re going to have an entirely different approach on trade,” Schumer said to the cheering crowd. “We’re going to protect American workers first, and then look at the geopolitical benefits. Not the other way around.”

Schumer is up for re-election this year. He holds a double digit lead against GOP opponent Wendy Long.

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.