Government affairs

Legislative Updates

NALC’s observations from the second presidential debate

On Oct. 9, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump answered questions from undecided voters at Washington University in St. Louis, MO during the second presidential debate.

While this townhall-style debate was overshadowed by negative attacks from both candidates, there were several points raised regarding workers’ rights.

During the debate, Clinton laid out a positive vision of an America where the economy works for everyone, not just those at the top. Viewers witnessed an example of this when town hall participant Ken Bone asked, “What steps will your energy policy take to meet our energy needs while at the same time remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job loss for fossil power plant workers?”

“We are putting our energy companies out of business,” Trump said. “We have to bring back our workers. You take a look at what’s happening to steel, and the cost of steel. And China dumping vast amounts of steel over the United States, which essentially is killing our steel workers and our steel companies.”

Clinton noted that much of the steel that Trump bought to build his buildings is from the low-wage Chinese workers who have taken jobs from American union members.

“First of all, China is illegally dumping steel in the United States, and Donald Trump is buying it to build his buildings,” Clinton said. “Putting steel workers and American steel plants out of business. That’s something that I fought against as a senator, and I would have a trade prosecutor to make sure we don’t get taken advantage of by China on steel or anything else.”

Clinton also promised to care of America’s mineworkers while the United States shifts more toward clean and renewable energy. “Because those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers, they dug that coal out, a lot of them lost their lives, they were injured, but they turned the lights on and powered our factories,” Clinton said. “I don’t want to walk away from them.”

The third and final presidential debate is set for Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, starting at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

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