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By Chris Opfer
Sept. 27 — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sparred over government regulations during their first presidential debate, raising questions about who would do a better job of cutting red tape for employers.
The Republican standard-bearer said Sept. 26 Clinton would “regulate businesses out of existence” if elected to the White House in November. The Democratic nominee countered that she plans to ease the regulatory burden on employers, including small businesses.
The candidates appear to disagree largely over when and how to regulate, not whether to regulate.
Trump pledged to shred a wide range of regulations, particularly those related to energy and the environment. He also said, however, that he’d create new obligations for employers, like paid maternity leave.
Clinton also wants to require employers to offer paid family and sick leave and wants to bolster equal pay obligations. On the other hand, she said she would offer state and local governments incentives to reduce licensing and other hurdles for entrepreneurs looking to start small businesses.
The debate came as the candidates find themselves in a near dead heat in the race for the White House, according to national polls.
Trump promised to slash taxes and scrap trade deals that allow countries to “steal” American companies and jobs. That includes the North American Free Trade Agreement and the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, deals that Trump said will continue to decimate the manufacturing industry.
Clinton said she will focus on increasing the federal minimum wage and pouring investments into infrastructure to create jobs and bolster paychecks, if elected.
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