Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday that trade policies will mean consumer products would cost Americans more money -- though he assured a New Hampshire crowd that it would be a small price to pay for the spike he foresaw in the number of American jobs.
"We're better off paying a little bit more and having jobs," Trump said in Manchester at a town hall-style event. "It's a much better system, the way it used to be." This was the first time he's made such a statement, the Wall Street Journal noted.
"A lot of people say, 'Oh, well the goods will be cheaper, they'll come in and they'll be cheaper,'" Trump, the Republican party's presumptive presidential nominee, added. "Yeah, but we lost all our jobs. So we're better off if they're not quite as cheap and the goods will also be of a higher quality, because we do a higher quality good. And we're known for that."
He said of current White House administration's trade policies that "All of a sudden, the jobs are gone. And frankly, the goods can come in cheaply, but people don't have any money to buy them, so that's a problem, is that right?"
Attempting to describe the plight of American middle-class workers, Trump added: "They're working longer hours, they're working harder, they have jobs that they don't like as much and they're making less money."
"There are people in the audience -- don't raise your hand, I don't want to embarrass you -- but there are people in the audience that are exactly in that position," he said.
Trump's campaign event, staged at a closed down light bulb factory in Manchester, comes just days after giving a speech blasting globalization and trade deals for the loss of American jobs. The trade speech was widely criticized by Republican-leaning business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Under Trump's trade plans, we would see higher prices, fewer jobs, a weaker economy," the Chamber said Wednesday.
Trump fired back at the association, saying they were "controlled totally by various groups of people that don't care about [Americans] whatsoever."