In Detroit, Hillary Clinton Lays Out Economic Plan in Contrast to Trump

Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Des Moines on Wednesday. (Sam Hodgson for The New York Times)
Hillary Clinton at a campaign event in Des Moines on Wednesday. (Sam Hodgson for The New York Times)

In her first full-throttled rejection of Donald J. Trump’s economic agenda, Hillary Clinton sharply criticized her opponent for advancing policies that she said would lift the ultra wealthy and cast middle-class and working Americans further into financial distress.

Presenting a contrast between two starkly different economic visions during a major economic speech in Detroit, Mrs. Clinton called parts of Mr. Trump’s tax plan a discount to benefit his ultra-wealthy peers and relatives. Faulting Mr. Trump for promising deep tax cuts for the wealthy and a gentler approach to financial regulation, she portrayed his proposals as reflective of traditional Republican thinking that would exacerbate the gap between rich and poor.

“Donald Trump wants to give trillions in tax cuts to people like himself,” she said, citing his positions on eliminating the estate tax and reducing corporate taxes.

“Even conservative experts say Trump’s agenda will pull our economy into recession,” she said, adding that he “made a career out of stiffing small businesses.” She also faulted Mr. Trump for making his products overseas, saying it’s “just wrong.”

For all of Mrs. Clinton’s efforts to tar Mr. Trump, he remains a difficult opponent to critique in traditional terms. Although some of his policies, which he presented in Detroit on Monday in his most expansive economic speech, align with those of Congressional Republicans, others, like his promise to rip up global trade agreements, break with Republican orthodoxy.

Mrs. Clinton, meanwhile, has had to work to convince voters in Michigan and other Rust Belt states that she no longer supports trade deals, including the North American Free Trade Agreement, which her husband signed into law, and the Trans Pacific Partnership, which she supported as secretary of state.

Senator Bernie Sanders, who criticized Mrs. Clinton for her previous positions on Nafta and TPP, defeated her unexpectedly, and by a slim margin, in Michigan’s Democratic primary.

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The New York Times